Black colleges are often faced with a major decision, one that often times has little to do with their field of study, which pre-approved credit card offer they accept. Overall, "Generation Xers" have 18% of the credit cards but amass 25% of such debt. Lenders are recklessly issuing cards to those who can least afford them. For black consumers credit card use is often a means of extending their monthly imports. These individuals are burdened by interest rates that typically exceed 16%, higher fees and insurance premiums.
The end result has been African Americans having to use a larger percentage of their financial resources to pay off credit costs. This can serve as an additional hindrance to those seeking mortgage credit. According to the Federal Reserve, blacks are denied such credit more often than whites and pay higher costs for such loans when they do get them.
According to a study conducted by the public policy group Demos, blacks higher credit card balances can be due to the fact that they have lower imports, less access to financial education and higher unemployment levels. Black annual credit card debt is almost $ 750 more than that of white credit card users and envelopes black incoming. And once these debts become unmanageable, African-Americans must often resort to "legitimized loansharking" in the form of "payday loans," which typically charge interest rates as high as 30%. These loans are typically repaid bi-weekly, but the majority of these borrowers "roll over" their loans and after a year, cumulative interest can exceed 1500%.
Another faulty strategy is "credit card hopping," that is, switching from one card to another and continuing to do so in an attempt to minimize their debt. But such behavior causes lenders to become hesitant making loans, especially for big ticket items such as cars and homes.
Consumer columnist Julianne Malveaux asserts that many blacks that do attain wealth and keep their debts within reason often utilize poor investment strategies. Rather than investing in the stock market, bonds or even real estate, many –particularly those who are young and affluent – buy items such as clothes, jewelry, cars, furniture, electronics and appliances, which do not gain appreciation. In fact, many of these purchases depreciate.
Lenders are raking in record profits and pay little, if any attention to the record number of bankruptcies except in terms of how it effects their bottom line. Such corporations are seldom willing to assist blacks in their search for more credit-friendly programs. Author Robert D. Manning ("Credit Card Nation: The Consequences of America's Addiction to Credit," Basic Books) states, "Lenders know that once they have you paying month-to-month, it's hard to break free. people in debt, the longer the revenue stream persists. "
Blacks also fall victim to what are called "debt zombies." These are companies that purchase your old debts – even ones that are no longer in force due to expired statute of limitations – and demand payment or settlement. These "debts" are often reported to credit agencies under the guise of them being new debts. (For more information see Liz Pulliam-Weston's online article, "Zombie debt collectors dig up your old mistakes").
Also, blacks must educate them on debt settlement. (One such article can be found at http://moneycentral.msn.com/content/Savinganddebt/Managedebt/P65141.asp see, Financial literacy is inadmissible to be taught in schools, which means black social organizations such as churches, must be willing to tackle the role.