Americans Pay Off Credit Cards Before Mortgages

Here's a sign of the economic times... Americans are more likely to pay their credit card bills than their mortgages. The disturbing findings come out a new study by TransUnion. {}The economy may be steadily improving and the mortgage delinquency rates declining, but more homeowners are still paying their credit card bills before their monthly mortgage payment. In the fourth quarter of last year, just over 7 percent of consumers paid their credit cards but not their mortgages.{} That's compared to 3 percent who were behind on their credit card bills but were paying their mortgages.Debt counselors aren't surprised by the study, saying credit bills are usually a lot smaller and easier to pay than mortgages. But it's a very dangerous practice, according to Mary Thomas with Credit Counseling Center of Oklahoma. She says people should take care of the basics first... food, shelter, utilities, clothing and car payments. {}Thomas says if you're having trouble paying your mortgage, call your lender first.{} Maybe you can negotiate a payment deal. If that doesn't work, contact Credit Counseling Center of Oklahoma.{} {}{}