A recent article in the New York Times delves into the changing trends among the younger generations and their dissociation with credit cards and the crippling debt that follows. FICO, one of the largest analytic software companies in the US, conducted a study aimed at understanding the decline of credit card usage among the ages of 18-29. They found that from 2005-2099 there was a 7% decrease in credit card purchases. The study also recognized that older generations are relying less on credit cards, but not with such drastic numbers.
These changes in consumerism have contributed to reductions of the average credit card payments, which dropped from $3,073 to $2,087 in late October of 2013. Despite these changes in credit card debt, this generation is experiencing a devastating increase in loans, which have almost doubled in the past decade. Another reason this age group prefers to use debit cards which make it easier to face for them to face their debts and live comfortably.
There are a few reasons behind the declining trends of credit card usage. In 2009, the introduction of the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act was introduced to the public, and it added amendments requiring applicants to have a stable income stream, which in turn made it more difficult for younger people to become approved for credit cards.
Spending habits among younger generations have also changed due to the Great Recession, and their inability to work full time after finishing school. Financial burdens, such as loans and increasing living standards across the US have made young consumers become aware of the overall economy struggles and their personal financial shortcomings.
Many financial analysts believe that without credit cards this age group will have a difficult time building credit and purchasing future big ticket items such as, a car or a home. However, for those who still cannot afford credit cards, there are other ways to acquire credit. For example, making your regular loan payments on time, and signing up for bills in your own name can help you slowly create a solid credit history. These simple exercises can place students and recent graduates in a good place with their future finances, without rushing into unnecessary credit card debt.
The importance of motor vehicle insurance is sometimes lost on people with an impeccable driving record and with those who do not wish to shell out thousands of dollars on annual fees. As an insurance professional with over 20 years of experience in the field, I would like to give an informed explanation of why we need car coverage and other forms of insurance.
First and foremost, we purchase car insurance not only to protect ourselves but also the people we might harm in the unfortunate case of a car accident. Every state, with the exception of New Hampshire, has in place mandatory insurance policies for car and motorcycle drivers. However, these policies may vary depending where you live and the kind of car you drive. States enforce insurance policies in order to protect citizens from extreme financial loses and damages caused by vehicle and motorcycle accidents. With insurance policies intact, these loses are greatly minimized for the drivers who do not have the resources to cover medical bills and pay to repair physical damages out of pocket. By making monthly payments and annual premium dues, insurance companies are able to absorb a good portion of damages on behalf of their customers. Unfortunately, for many drivers insurance fees tend to increase after a car accident.
Another great reason to purchase car insurance is the high possibility of actually being part of a car accident. Those who have been unfortunate enough to experience this burden are all too familiar with the financial strains that follow an accident. It is important for drivers to be able to protect not only themselves, but also to be financially responsible for the other parties involved in the case that the accident is your fault. Insurance allows people to pay off damages and hospital bills, that would otherwise be too expensive to take on alone.
One final consideration to take into account when discussing the benefits of purchasing insurance is the ability to protect your assets such as, your car, home and bank savings. Besides buying a house, cars are one of the biggest investments you will make in your lifetime. We will find ourselves paying off car payments for many years, which is why it is extremely important to protect such a significant asset. In many cases, banks require full collision coverage in order to secure full payment loans in case of an accident.