Credit Card Debt Survey Interview with KENS San Antonio
CreditCards.com Senior Industry Analyst Matt Schulz spoke on Monday, July 27, 2015, with Deborah Knapp of KENS San Antonio about the July 2015 Credit Card Debt survey. The interview and transcript are below.
Deborah Knapp: Well, if you owe money on your credit cards, you are not alone in the Alamo City. A new study shows San Antonio has the highest credit card debt in the country. The study by CreditCards.com reveals that San Antonians card balances average $4,880. That’s nearly $500 more than the US average. Since San Antonians have an overall lower income than the national average, it would take some one 16 months to wipe that debt out. Joining us now to help people get the debt under control is Matt Schulz, a senior analyst with CreditCards.com. Mr. Schulz, why does San Antonio have such a high debt?
Matt Schulz: Well, it really is all about earnings. San Antonio, even though they have one of the higher credit card balances in the country, the reality is is that folks in San Antonio don’t make as much as some other big cities. So it’s a lot harder for them to pay off that balance in time.
Knapp: And I also understand our military has something to do with it, as well.
Schulz: Yeah. There’s been a great written about the struggles of active duty and retired military paying off their debts. And that might definitely be a case here, too.
Knapp: So what do you advise people with credit card debt?
Schulz: Well, the first thing is that you need to pay off as much of your balance as you can each month. If you can’t pay off every little bit, then pay off more than the minimums, certainly. And if you can shoot for 15 percent, that’s a good amount to shoot for.
Knapp: Now credit card interest rates vary greatly. Is there anything people can do about that?
Schulz: Yeah. This is something that I don’t think a lot of people know about. It’s worth making a phone call to your credit card issuer and asking them if they’re reduce your credit interest rate. And we did a survey awhile back that shows that even though very few people actually did this, about two thirds of people who asked got that request granted. And a lower APR can really save you a lot of money.
Knapp: Wow, that can. So it just takes a phone call. Okay, Mr. Schulz. Thanks so much for joining us.
Schulz: Thank you.