After the Great Recession sent the economy into a tailspin, many consumers in Tennessee and across the country became much more cautious about using credit cards and taking on high-interest debt. However, it seems that the recent stronger economy now has many people heading in the opposite direction. According to NBC News, the number of new credit card accounts being opened is on the rise and is approaching the same numbers as before the Great Recession hit.
Part of the reason for the increase is that as the economic recovery has unfolded, credit card companies have been looking for ways to attract new customers. For example, they are becoming more willing to extend credit to consumers whose credit history may not have been strong enough to qualify just a few years ago. In addition, companies are using rewards programs to entice consumers to sign up for their cards.
While the number of cards being issued is growing, so are the number of borrowers who are delinquent on their accounts. The balances that people are carrying are also getting larger. In just the first three months of 2016, balances grew by 6.4 percent, approaching $644 billion.
Credit cards can work to a consumer’s advantage, as long as they are used responsibly. One of the most important things people can do is make their payments on time, according to Bankrate. People should also strive to pay off the balance each month or, if that is not possible, at least pay more than minimum amount due to save themselves from incurring large interest payments.