Consumers Have Increased Debt By 12%

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Experian Consumer Direct said a study it has conducted has found consumers have increased their debt by more than 12% over the past two years. Minimum monthly payment obligations also increased by 10% during the same time period. The results were part of Experian's National Score Index (

"In addition to consumers taking on substantially more debt over the past two years, their number of late payments increased nearly 20%," said Ty Taylor, president of Experian Consumer Direct. "This shows that as consumers took on more financial responsibility, they were not able to manage it effectively. However, on a positive note, our study also revealed that during the same time period, each year consumers applied for credit less often and opened fewer credit cards."

Among the findings:

How Consumers Manage Their Credit

Consumer 2004 2005 2006 change

Debt $10,371 $11,261 $11,669 12.5%


Payment $489 $506 $538 10%

No. Late

Payments .78 .88 .93 19.2%

No. of Credit

Inquiries 2.59 2.43 2.33 -10%

No. of Open

Credit Cards 3.17 3.12 3.11 -1.9%

Source: Experian

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