Credit Rates Rising Again For Consumers [AUDIO]
More bad news for consumers. Banks have been raising rates on all credit card users this year.
Rates on student credit cards are up from 15.8% to just over 16%. Rates for consumers with good credit scores rose about one percent to just over 13%.
"As long as things run smoothly for the rest of the year, and we don't see anything unexpected, especially from banks overseas, credit card customers can expect rates to stay at current levels" said Odysseas Papadimitriou, CEO of CardHub.com, a credit card comparison website.
He said a major contributor to the spike in rates is incentives.
"Credit card companies have been expanding their 0% interest rate offers on purchases and then to make money they raise their rates when the promotional periods end, which adds up in the long run because a lot of consumers get hit with the increase."
The average length of 0% introductory offers on balance transfers and purchases lasted around 10 months during the second quarter, up from seven to eight months a year prior, according to CardHub.com.
Papadimitriou said there is some good news for consumers.
"We are not seeing credit interest rates moving in either direction, I think its fair to say that through the end of the year they will be stabilized."
Economists say shoppers should continue to rely on a mix of payments in light of increasing credit card costs. They suggest paying mostly in cash and reserving credit cards for purchases you can pay off in full each month.