Gas prices stated as reason for trend in late payments on credit cards

Link to AP story here.

As if there aren’t enough signs of economic slowdown and consumer financial ruin without the addition of tolls to every major highway in Texas, here’s more news pointing to Americans overspending to cover gas. It also confirms what many AP stories have said since the beginning of the year: Americans are in a negative savings pattern and have been for 12 straight months. Bulletin to pro-tollers: we don’t have any more money to take! Your toll roads are going to fail due to high gas prices and flat incomes!

More credit card holders paying late
By: Associated Press

NEW YORK — Credit counseling agencies say consumers are storming their offices for help — just one sign that credit card holders are feeling a painful pinch.

Experts say rising interest rates and higher gas prices are squeezing consumers’ budgets. As a result, more people say, “Charge it,” then find it harder to pay the bills.

The American Bankers Association says the signs of distress are evident in a pulse-taking of late payments that ticked up in the first quarter. The president of one credit counseling group says consumers are carrying “exorbitant” debt with no savings to fall back on.

And with the Federal Reserve raising interest rates and income growth pretty much capped by a slowing economy, analysts say even more credit card bills, auto loans and mortgages stand to be paid late.