A recent myFICO® survey of US consumers sheds light on consumer spending plans and concerns for the upcoming holiday season:
- Biggest financial worry going into 2011: Almost 40% said credit card debt.
- Holiday credit card spending: Almost half expect to charge an average of $100-$500 more than usual on their credit cards during the holiday, which for some will take up to an extra six months to pay off.
- Tightening the holiday belt: 75% admit they will be changing holiday traditions this year due to the economy.
- Cash or credit: Only 15% said they use cash to pay for holiday shopping.
- Bah-hum-budget: More than half confessed they do nothing to prepare for the added bills during the holiday season.
While these results reflect an informal survey of a select group of consumers, the behaviors and concerns raised reinforce why lenders should invest in consumer credit education as the holiday approaches—and year round. We all benefit from consumers who engage in credit-building activities and know how to manage credit. Lenders should encourage customers to take advantage of credit education resources like myfico.com, budgeting tools and credit counseling services. This builds long-term customer loyalty by being a friendly, educational lender and consumer advocate.