All of this figures directly into the credit-card issuers' business plans.
Credit-card companies use this information to make all sorts of decisions about consumers, including whom to target with which offers.
To listen to credit-card companies argue that high levels of consumer debt are not their fault is to hear, ringing in your ears, the complaints of the auto industry 40 years ago It's a matter of "personal responsibility" the credit companies say.
The arrangement is attractive to creditors, too, because it allows them to get some money back, whereas if the client just stopped paying or declared bankruptcy, the debt is ``charged off'' and represents a total loss to the credit-card company.
Anne Viricel, a veteran of Springboard's debt-management program in Alta Loma, recalls one of the money-saving strategies that helped her eventually pay off $28,000 in credit-card debt: Stockpiling packets of bleu cheese dressing from Carl's Jr.
Taxpayers who file electronically, either through an authorized tax practitioner or with commercially available tax-preparation software, or who use the existing TeleFile program, are able to take advantage of this credit-card payment option.
It currently processes credit-card payments for more than 250 counties and cities throughout the country.
Nonetheless, Manning insightfully traces many of the changes that have led to credit-card debt as a mainstay of consumer culture.
In 1977, the top 50 banks had half of all credit-card accounts; today the top 10 control over three-quarters, helping explain why interest costs have climbed to such heights.