Ticos debt with credit cards reached ¢896 billion in January, after rising 7.2%

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    More than two million cards are in circulation in the country

    ¢896.719 million was the figure reached for debt balance credit card in the country in January this year, according to a study by the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC).

    Compared to the previous report in October 2015, this amount increased 7.2 percent, ie ¢60 billion.

    It is estimated that the debt figure corresponds to 3.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

    Deputy Minister of MEIC, Carlos Mora, said that beyond thinking if that amount is too large to be analyzed, what should be discussed is how Costa Ricans are using credit cards.

    For the portfolio, it is worrying that consumers of these plastics do not read the terms of the contract and are unaware of the scope of interest rates.

    On average, each customer debt credit card reached around ¢400 mil.

    The balance of credit cards distributed among plastics 2,252,693 earlier this year circulated in the country. The above amount corresponds to 17 percent over the previous year.

    In total, 29 entities emit plastics and there are 453 different types that vary in interest rates, payment terms, benefits and other features.

    As for debit cards in circulation, they were counted in the first months of this year 5,426,031 plastics. In total they accumulated 3,822,770 million.

    The money deposited in these accounts accounted for 13.60 percent of GDP.

    MEIC authorities recommended using cards with care and based on cost estimates linked to income.

    They also reminded users that businesses cannot reload an additional fee for canceling a credit card.

    The Deputy Minister said that financial education is essential for citizens to learn to use the cards properly.

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