April 1, 2013 – By Emily Micucci
Most Americans polled by the nonprofit group, American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC), will use this year’s tax refund to pay down credit card debt, and results show there is some evidence that consumer confidence is increasing.
Forty-five percent of the 251 web poll respondents said their money will be use money to reduce credit card debt, while 26 percent plan to put the money into a savings account, according to the ACCC. Eleven percent of respondents plan to use the money to make a purchase, which is an 8 percent increase from last year, the ACCC said.
Steve Trumble, president and CEO of ACCC, said taxpayers are taking a step in the right direction by using refunds to reduce credit card debt.
“Paying down debt is the single most important financial action that a consumer can take to achieve a financially stable future and it’s promising that those who have encountered financial difficulty in the past are making better decisions,” Trumble said.
The ACCC results follow a report by the Federal Reserve last month that showed credit card balances fell by four percent, or $25 billion, in 2012, while retail sales increased 4.6 percent year-over-year in February. Trumble said this show consumers are making smarter spending decisions, with more people opting to pay with cash.