Nearly 6 out of 10 Credit Card Holders in California are Using Too Much Credit

Written By Aaron Sarentino
Apr 18, 2018
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California credit card debt keeps growing. Credit cards are the most accessible financing tool for Americans. Most adults — even those with already damaged credit or no credit history at all — can easily open an account. 

In California, about 77 percent of adults with a credit score have a credit card or home equity line of credit (HELOC), according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Community Credit report. This figure dropped sharply in the years following the Great Recession but picked back up after 2012 and has grown steadily since.

The percentage also varies widely within California — from 63.5 percent in Tulare to nearly 86.6 percent in San Francisco. The national share, by comparison, is just over 73 percent.

As many people learn in adulthood, access to credit is important. It helps them build a solid credit history, which in turn helps them buy a house or rent an apartment.

However, having such easy access to credit can also lead to irresponsible financial behavior. Spending beyond their means is a common mistake among credit card holders. Some use plastic for large emergency expenses, while others purchase things they otherwise couldn’t afford. They assume — or better yet hope — they’ll come up with the cash to pay off their balances later. This kind of reckless spending often traps many credit card holders in an endless cycle of debt. 

In California, more than 56 percent of adults with access to credit cards use 30 percent or more of their spending limit. A balance of less than 30 percent is what credit experts consider a healthy credit utilization ratio, or the amount of credit used against the amount that’s available. Although a high balance does not necessarily mean the cardholder can’t pay it off, the New York Fed’s data shows that nearly 1 in 5 consumers with access to plastic in California were behind on their credit obligations at some point in 2017.

If you’re struggling with high credit card debt, you have options. Americor is one place to start. We offer a FREE debt analysis and consultation to evaluate your current financial situation.


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We provide debt resolution services. Our clients who make all monthly program payments save approximately 40 – 50% of their enrolled debt (average of 43%) upon successful program completion, before program fees. Fees are based on a percentage of your enrolled debt at the time of starting the program and range from 15%-25% of your enrolled debt. Programs range from 20-48 months. Clients must save at least 25% of each debt due to an enrolled creditor before a bona fide settlement offer will be made. On average, clients receive their first settlement within 4-7 months of enrollment and approximately every 3-6 months thereafter from when the prior debt was settled. Not all Clients complete the program. Estimates are based on prior results and may not match your results. We cannot guarantee that your debts will be resolved for a specific amount or percentage or within a specific timeframe. We do not assume your debts, make monthly payments to creditors or provide tax, bankruptcy, accounting, legal advice or credit repair services. Our program is not available in all states; fees may vary by state. Some programs may be offered through The Law Firm of Higbee & Associates d/b/a Advantage Law. The use of debt resolution services will likely adversely affect your credit. You may be subject to collections or lawsuits by creditors or collectors. Your outstanding debt may increase from the accrual of fees and interest. Any amount of debt forgiven by your creditors may be subject to income tax. Clients may withdraw from the program at any time without penalty and receive all funds from their dedicated account, other than funds earned by the company or fees paid to third-party service providers, as may be applicable. Read and understand all program materials prior to enrolling. Certain types of debts are not eligible for enrollment. Some creditors are not eligible for enrollment because they do not negotiate with debt relief companies. To determine the offers you may be eligible for, Americor conducts a “soft credit pull.” This credit pull does not impact your credit score, creditworthiness, or ability to obtain credit from other sources. The soft pull is not a tradeline entry, it does not report against your score and will only take a few minutes.

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