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 (www.NationalScoreIndex.com).

"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%

Monthly

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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