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February 4, 2016


Since their large-scale introduction in the 1970s, credit cards have become a leading form of payment in the U.S. economy. As of 2015, 72 percent of all Americans have at least one credit card and the U.S. per capita credit card debt is $5,199, according to data from TransUnion. The average amount of debt is not surprising, as credit cards offer a convenient payment method for shopping at brick-and-mortar stores, online retailers or by phone.

Most consumers qualify for a credit card. Credit card issuers determine an applicant’s eligibility using three pieces of information:

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