Costa Ricans continue to use their credit cards.
A study by the economics ministry showed that credit card debt increase 2.37 percent from January to April 30 when the data was gathered. The total debt on that date was 806,138,896,697.60 colons or about $1.5 billion. That meant that of the estimated 4.8 million Costa Ricans every man woman and child owed about $305.
The good news is that the number of credit card customers in arrears by 90 days or more decreased by 3 percent, said the report from the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio.
In the last four years, according to the ministry, the number of credit cards in the hands of residents here increased by 33 percent. There are about 1.7 million credit cards in circulation, a number that also is up since January.
Banco BCT continued to hold the lead for credit card interest rate. The bank collected the equivalent of 50.4 percent annual interest, according to the ministry.
State banks charge much less, sometimes as low as 21 percent. Credit cards denominated in U.S. dollars have lower interest, too.
Debit cards far outnumber credit cards with about 5 million in circulation, said the report.
The full report is available on the ministry’s Web site HERE!