Who Uses Credit Cards?


Life on Planet Plastic

Ms. Smith

In some ways, that’s what a credit card allows you to do. But along with convenience come some obligations you should know about it.




How “Fantastic Plastic” Works!

Customers apply for a credit card.

These cards allow the customer to “borrow” a certain $ amount from the organization by using the card to purchase items.

Any items these cards are used to buy are reported to the bank or store’s central accounting area, which sends customers a monthly bill.

Who Uses Credit Cards?


Currently, there are more than 1.14 billion credit cards in use in the U.S.

The average consumer has 3.5 cards.

76% of undergraduates have credit cards.

New Hampshire & New Jersey have the largest concentration of consumers with 10+ cards.

America’s Love of Credit

The total U.S. credit card debt was 880.5 billion in


The average American household has an average of $15,191 in debt, excluding mortgages.

Undergraduates have an average debt of


Today’s consumer has a total of 13 credit obligations on record.

Avoiding the “Trap”

Annual Percentage Rate (APR): determines the cost of your credit on a yearly basis.

Grace Period: amount of time you get to pay off debt without having to pay interest.

Finance Charge: total amount it costs you to finance the loan stated in dollars and cents.

Annual Fees: yearly charges, usually ranging between $0 and $50.

Additional Fees:

Balance Transfer

Cash Advance

Late fees

Over-the-limit fee

So what did you find out?


Cash Rewards

Chase Rewards

Credit Card

Citi Diamond

Preferred Card

Citizens Bank

Cash Back Card

Which Credit Card Will You Choose?


Calculating Your Payments:

Debt Calculator

Types of Credit Cards



Bank Cards: sponsored by individual banks and are considered all purpose cards since they can be used to pay for a variety of goods and services.

Travel & Entertainment Cards: used by businesses and consumers for travel and entertainment expenses and have an annual fee.

Ex.) Disney, Target, BankAmericard Travel Rewards®


Company or Retail Store Cards: used in the retail store or gas station and have no annual fee.

Ex.) Macy's, Best Buy, Exxon

Google Compare






How Can I Get a Credit Card?

You must be at least 21 years old.

You must have an income or assets.

The amount must be realistic, based on your income and any credit you already have.

Credit record check.

Remember…carefully evaluate all the terms and conditions for each card you are considering.

Your Credit Worthiness: The 5 Cs

Capacity: your ability to pay; job check, how much you make, how long you’ve been employed.

Character: references to test to your reliability.

Credit History: information collected from the credit bureau.

Capital: includes cash, savings, and investments.

Collateral: consists of property or valuables, used as security for a loan.

So, How Does a Credit Card Work?

Anatomy of a Credit Card

How A Credit Card Transaction Works

Credit Card Statement

A credit card statement provides information such as:

When you’ve used your credit card

How much interest has accrued

How much your minimum payment is

How much credit you have left

Knowing how to read your credit card statement can help you to catch unauthorized charges or billing errors.


A safe alternative to cash.

Builds a good credit history.

Bails you out of emergencies.

Gives you time to pay.

Offers protection for your cash.


Way too tempting; impulse buying.


Getting out of debt.

Buying things that wear out before you finish paying for it.

Credit Card Responsibilities

Keep your cards with you or in a safe place.

Do not give your credit card number to friends.

Before signing receipts, verify for accuracy.

Keep all receipts to check against the billing statement.

Inform the credit card company immediately if you lose your credit card.

Become familiar with the consumer credit laws that protect you.

In today’s world, credit is integrated into everyday life. You NEED credit in order to:

Acquire a mortgage to buy a home

Attain a loan to buy a car

Achieve the lowest interest rates for credit cards, mortgages & loans

Your Credit History...

How you spend your $ says a lot about you!

Credit reporting companies track your payment history and supply this info. to lenders.

What is a Credit Report?

A credit report is a collection of facts about you that tells lenders whether you’re a good risk to lend money to.

Your credit report contains 2 basic components:

Info. about your credit history

Every loan & credit card you’ve applied for or received

Credit limit

How much you owe every month

Whether or not you make payments on time.

Other lenders that have asked to see your report

Your 3-digit FICO score (Fair Isaac Company)

Tells lenders in a single # how good a credit risk you are.

Scores between 300 and 850.

FICO What?!

Here’s what different scores say about you: o

>750 Excellent credit risk o o o o





Very good credit risk

Acceptable credit risk

Uncertain credit risk


3 companies publish credit reports:




*Be sure to check it for free once a year!!!

Tips to Live By...

What Does Your Report Mean for You?

It may not sound like much...but it affects many areas of your life.


Interest rates

Credit cards

Happiness 

How Can You Keep a Good Report?

Check your report regularly, reporting incorrect information.

Don’t hold or apply for too many credit cards.

Pay all your bills on time.

Don’t run up large balances you can’t repay.

Do apply for some credit!