|A report suggests that demographic factors dictate the methods Americans choose to pay their bills.|
- Consumers who didn't graduate from high school are more likely to pay their bills in person, suggesting that many may not even have credit cards, or that this demographic is waiting until the very last minute to pay the bills.
- Americans with graduate degrees are most likely to use online bill pay, implying a trust in technology and a high comfort level using computers and smartphones to pay bills.
- Packaged Facts says that Hispanic-Americans are most likely to pay their bills in person, while Asian-Americans are most likely to pay their bills online.
- Only 37% of "millennials" have a credit card, compared with 62% of baby boomers. That might be a reflection of the difficulty younger Americans are experiencing with their finances in this tough economy.
- Credit card debt rose 4.5%, to $801 billion, in the fourth quarter of 2011.
- Auto sales fueled a 9% rise in noncredit-card spending -- to almost $1.7 trillion for the quarter.
- Despite the increase in debt, consumers are doing a good job of keeping up with payments. The Fed reports that credit card write-offs by banks and card issuers were down 32% for 2011.