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How Often Do You Use Credit Cards? (April 2008)

Respondents: 720

As a micro-business owner, your cash flow plays an essential role in your ability to address the changing and growing needs of your business. Often times, entrepreneurs with restrictive cash flow will utilize credit cards to keep their business moving forward. Credit cards are also widely used by all consumers to purchase goods and services. However, as we know, the majority of credit cards carry high interest rates and a host of other fees that can be detrimental to an individual and a micro-business. Tell us more about how you utilize credit in your business.
1. How many credit card accounts do you currently have open?
12% None
18% 1
23% 2
18% 3
29% 5 or more
2. How often do you utilize credit cards to help with your cash flow needs in your business?
22% Very often
25% Somewhat often
24% Very rarely
27% Not at all
03% No opinion
3. How often do you utilize credit cards for personal use (other than business)?
23% Very often
31% Somewhat often
33% Very rarely
12% Not at all
01% No opinion
4. What is the most burdensome aspect of utilizing credit cards to assist with cash flow and/or finance your business?
50% Interest rates
07% Annual fees
05% Late fees
05% Payment schedules
04% Lack of clear terms and conditions
05% Other
23% No opinion
5. Please indicate whether you are in favor of or oppose the following proposals that have been suggested to reform the credit industry.
Do Not Know
1. Require credit card companies to give 45 day notice of any interest rate increase.
2. Give cardholders the right to cancel their card and pay off their existing balance at the existing interest rate and repayment schedule if they get hit with an interest rate hike.
3. Prohibit card companies from arbitrarily changing the terms of their contract with a cardholder.
4. Gives cardholders time to pay their bills by requiring card companies to mail billing statements 25 calendar days before the due date (14 days is the current norm).
5. Prohibits card companies from charging late fees when a cardholder presents proof of mailing his/her bill within 7 days of the due date.
6. Requires card companies to offer consumers the option of having a fixed credit limit that cannot be exceeded.

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