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“Credit is good as long as it is well managed,”
Panamanians are buying more and more on credit instead of with cash.
That’s according to recently released data from the credit card industry, which shows that the numbers of cards, as well as their limits, are increasing.
At the end of last year, the Asociación Panameña de Crédito (APC) reported that the number of credit cards being issued increased 12.7 percent. And the limits of those cards increased from $1.1 billion to $1.3 billion.
While many of these cards have a low limit, 77 percent are for less than $2,000, the number of cards with a $1,000 limit is shrinking as a percentage of the total issued.
“People are most likely using the cards to subsidize their day-to-day living costs,” said APA analyst Mary Trini Zea. “These customers may have little experience with credit cards.”
One point that consumers should consider before accumulating credit card debt is that it can limit their ability to get other loans, including ones for an auto or a residence.
When a bank considers a loan application, it takes into account the applicants credit card limit, and not the actual amount the person owes. So accepting a higher limit may actually hurt a customer’s chances of getting another loan.
Rafael Vizuetti, a financial analyst of the firm SAAM Consulting, said that one must be cautious about getting a new credit card.
“Credit is good as long as it is well managed,” he said.