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Consumers place higher importance on credit card payments rather than mortgage

May 20, 2011 Brian Bradley

In an effort to boost their credit, many American consumers have begun to pay off their outstanding credit card payments, doing so at the expense of their home mortgages - a move that could have a negative impact on future credit decisions. According to the Washington Post, Americans have benefited their credit decisions by paying off $100 billion in debt that remained from the economic recession, yet have placed greater importance on their credit cards rather than their mortgages. "If you get into the mind set of a person experiencing financial distress, this is a perfectly rational and logical response,” said Mark Cole, executive vice president of CredAbility, a nonprofit education and credit counseling firm, to the source. "They didn’t have enough in savings, and credit cards became the shock absorber." TransUnion's latest Credit Risk Index reported that during the first quarter of the year, consumers' CRI was 123.56, a figure which is 5 percent less than the 129.67 that was reported for the fourth quarter of 2009. It was also 1 percent lower than the 125.51 figure which was reported for the fourth quarter of 2010. TransUnion indicated that these figures show that consumers are more likely to pay back their obligations and are improving their debt management skills.