Economy hasn't changed Mass Affluents' credit card payment behavior

March 18, 2009

The wise financial habits that helped Mass Affluent Americans achieve their wealth seem to be helping them withstand the recession too. A new report from market research firm Mintel reveals that most Mass Affluent consumers (78%) have not changed their credit card payment behavior in the last 12 months, despite economic turmoil in the country.
“It’s encouraging to see that so many Mass Affluents are paying their credit card bills the same way they did before the recession,” states Susan Menke, Senior Financial Services Analyst at Mintel. “The Mass Affluent demographic is strong and robust, representing a valuable opportunity for business, economic recovery and overall optimism in America.”
Of Mass Affluent respondents who changed their payment behavior, Mintel found that 11% formerly paid credit card balances in full each month but now don’t, while 11% are now making smaller monthly payments. Younger Mass Affluent consumers, especially those under age 45, are more likely to be making smaller payments each month. Hispanics too have been harder hit by the economy, and 50% of Mass Affluent Hispanics say they’ve changed their payment behavior.
Though most Mass Affluents are paying off their credit card bills each month, Mintel found that many feel deeply affected by the faltering economy. Over half (55%) say they’ve cut down or deferred overall spending because of the recession. Furthermore, only 48% say they currently “feel financially secure.” Just one in three Hispanic Mass Affluents (36%) report feeling “financially secure.”
Mintel’s study reveals that the most Mass Affluents (62%) pay off the balances on all their credit cards each month. Only a small minority say they (5%) pay the minimum amount due.
Mass Affluent households have between $100,000 and $1 million in investable assets, comprising 10% of the US population.

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