SOURCE: Consolidated Credit

Consolidated Credit

August 23, 2012 07:34 ET

Consolidated Credit Advises Latinos to Be Aware of New Credit Card Charges

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL--(Marketwire - Aug 23, 2012) - New legislation will allow retail stores to charge customers additional fees for credit card transactions. Stores could charge an average of 1.7 to 3 percent for each transaction. This legislation could potentially affect many Hispanics who are new to the country and lack experience managing credit cards.

Even though Hispanics tend to use cash for purchases, in the last decade a big percentage of the Latin population has relied on credit cards to cover basic expenses. According to Hispanic Insight Center, a company that provides information on Hispanic consumer behavior, 37 percent of the Hispanics carried Visa and 16 percent carried MasterCard.

"This increase in credit card use has favored retail stores across the country, but it has affected the finances of many Hispanics who fell into the debt trap," said Howard Dvorkin, CPA and founder of ConsolidatedCredit.org.

More than 30 percent of the Hispanic population carried balances of about $2,500 in June, according to the Hispanic Insight Center.

Dvorkin advises the following to Hispanic consumers:

Ask questions and check receipts: Major stores are unlikely to adopt additional credit card transaction charges, but small stores may do it. To avoid paying extra charges, check if the stores you're shopping in are charging additional fees to customers. In addition, check receipts to prevent paying for hidden charges.

Use cash: Using cash is one of the most effective ways of avoiding late fees, high interest rates and credit card debt. Latinos who are not familiar with credit or who have trouble making credit card payments are encouraged to use cash more often than credit.

Reduce debt: There are several ways of reducing debt. However, in some cases it's impossible for consumers to solve their own financial problems without help. Seeking credit counseling services may be the solution to end financial problems. Visiting ConsolidatedCredit.org may help consumers to evaluate their financial situation and obtain free educational materials about credit card debt and personal finances.

For more information visit http://espanol.consolidatedcredit.org or call (800) 560-6213.

About Consolidated Credit:

Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, Inc., founded in 1993, is one of the nation's largest credit counseling organizations in the country and has helped over 5 million people with financial issues. Their mission is to assist families throughout the United States in ending financial crisis and solving money management problems through education and professional counseling.

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