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Consolidated Credit, Latino Consumers and the Credit Card Market

(May 02, 2012)

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL -- (Marketwire) -- 05/02/12 -- Latino households carry the highest credit card balances. According to the NAACP, 79 percent of Latinos carry credit card debt compared to 54 percent of Caucasian households. Prioritizing debt payments and tracking spending are two of the top financial improvement strategies Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, Inc. recommends to consumers.

Howard Dvorkin, CPA and founder of Consolidated Credit is concerned about rising debt balances among the Latino community. "Consumers must be cautious when setting financial goals, otherwise they may be impossible to maintain. Latino consumers need to focus on paying down credit card debt and improving their financial health," said Dvorkin.

The National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the U.S., released a report which found that unfair and abusive credit card policies and practices trap Latinos in a cycle of debt. The Latino Credit Card Use: Debt Trap or Ticket to Prosperity? report examined credit card industry practices and revealed Latinos need greater access to affordable credit.

"We need to work on teaching the Hispanic community how to successfully manage debt while improving their credit histories," said Dvorkin.


Howard Dvorkin recommends the following financial improvement tips to Latino consumers:

  • Track spending. To better handle frivolous spending, start by writing everything down. Keep track for at least a month and see where largest chunk of money is going. Then decide if it's possible to cut back.

  • Prioritize debts payments. The most efficient way to resolve debt is by paying down the highest interest rate balances first. Once high-interest debt is paid down, tackle the next highest, and so on. Remember, to continue paying the minimum due on all other debts. For more tips on payment strategies check out Consolidated Credit's financial education.

  • Read all credit card statements. Make sure to read all the fine print in every monthly statement. Pay close attention to see if creditors are changing the annual percentage rate (APR) to a variable rate or if they are raising rates. Also, call the credit card company to find out if there are any changes coming.

  • Don't hesitate to ask for help. There are reputable debt-counseling agencies that consolidate debt and teach individuals to manage their finances better. Consolidated Credit conducts free budgeting analyses and dispenses free advice on a daily basis. If someone needs help they can speak with a counselor with no obligation call 1-800-728-3632 or visit ConsolidatedCredit.org.

For additional information, contact Consolidated Credit at (877) 201-7780. More information can be found in Spanish by visiting http://espanol.consolidatedcredit.org or calling (800) 560-6213.

Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, Inc.
Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, Inc., founded in 1993, is one of the nation's largest credit counseling organizations in the country and has helped over 5 million people with financial issues. Their mission is to assist families throughout the United States in ending financial crisis and solving money management problems through education and professional counseling.

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April Lewis-Parks
Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, Inc.
1-800-728-3632 x 9344
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