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Credit card debt and payment use

Author

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  • Charles Sprenger
  • Joanna Stavins

Abstract

Approximately half of credit card holders in the United States regularly carry unpaid credit card debt. These so-called "revolvers" exhibit payment behavior that differs from that of those who repay their entire credit card balance every month. Previous literature has focused on the adoption of debit cards by people who carry credit card balances, but so far there has been no empirical analysis exploring the relationship between revolving behavior and patterns of payment use, such as substitution away from credit cards to other payment methods. ; Using data collected in the 2005 Survey of Consumer Payment Preferences, we explore the relationship between revolving credit card balances and payment use. We find that credit card revolvers are significantly more likely to use debit and less likely to use credit than convenience users who repay their balances each month. There is no significant difference between these two types of credit card users in their use of check or cash. The two groups differ in their perceptions of payments as well as in their payment behavior: revolvers are significantly less likely to view debit as superior with respect to ease of use and acceptability, but more likely to see debit as superior with respect to control over money and budgeting.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles Sprenger & Joanna Stavins, 2008. "Credit card debt and payment use," Working Papers 08-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbwp:08-2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Berg, Nathan & Kim, Jeong-Yoo, 2010. "Demand for Self Control: A model of Consumer Response to Programs and Products that Moderate Consumption," MPRA Paper 26593, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Ulf Von Kalckreuth & Tobias Schmidt & Helmut Stix, 2014. "Using Cash to Monitor Liquidity: Implications for Payments, Currency Demand, and Withdrawal Behavior," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 46(8), pages 1753-1786, December.
    3. Bruno Karoubi & Régis Chenavaz & Corina Paraschiv, 2016. "Consumers’ perceived risk and hold and use of payment instruments," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(14), pages 1317-1329, March.
    4. Schuh, Scott & Stavins, Joanna, 2010. "Why are (some) consumers (finally) writing fewer checks? The role of payment characteristics," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1745-1758, August.
    5. Simon, John & Smith, Kylie & West, Tim, 2010. "Price incentives and consumer payment behaviour," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1759-1772, August.
    6. Anneke Kosse & David-Jan Jansen, 2011. "Choosing how to pay: the influence of home country habits," DNB Working Papers 328, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    7. Wang, Lili & Lu, Wei & Malhotra, Naresh K., 2011. "Demographics, attitude, personality and credit card features correlate with credit card debt: A view from China," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 179-193, February.

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    Keywords

    Consumer credit ; Debit cards ; Credit cards ; Consumer behavior;

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