Young people toss credit cards to avoid debt

WASHINGTON – Young adults are not using credit cards, in part because they don’t like the debt that comes with having them.

Sixteen percent of young adults between the ages of 18 and 29 don’t even have a credit card, according to a FICO analysis, The New York Times reports.

The creator of the credit score report by the same name looked at data about millions of consumers.

Among the young adults who do have credit cards, FICO found they cut their credit card debts to a little over $2,000 as of October 2012, compared to a little over $3,000 five years earlier.

One reason for that is the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act or CARD Act, which was enacted four years ago and made it harder for borrowers under 21 years old to get credit cards.

But experts also say young adults look at credit differently since they came of age during the Great Recession. Many of them just don’t want to accumulate a lot of debt.

So if young adults are not using credit cards, what are they using?

FICO tells the New York Times young people seem to prefer debit cards, including prepaid cards, and they like to use mobile payment systems.

WTOP’s Veronica Robinson contributed to this report. Follow @VRobWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.

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