Auditing and Financial Management:

Credit Card Minimum Payment Disclosures Cardholder Interview Results, an E-supplement to GAO-06-434

GAO-06-611SP: Published: Apr 21, 2006. Publicly Released: Apr 21, 2006.

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As part of a study GAO conducted to determine the feasibility and usefulness of providing customized minimum payment disclosures to credit cardholders, we interviewed a total of 112 cardholders in three U.S. cities on their views of various minimum payment disclosures. This document represents a facsimile of the interview guide that we administered to cardholders and includes the results to the closed-ended interview questions. The cardholders recruited for the interviews generally resembled the demographic makeup of the U.S. population in terms of age, education level, and income. However, because our sample did not form a random, statistically representative sample of the U.S. population, the results of our interviews can not be generalized to the entire U.S. population of credit cardholders. Additionally, we selected proportionally more cardholders who typically carry card balances (revolvers) than those who typically pay their outstanding balance in full every month (convenience users). Our sample of 112 cardholders consisted of 74 revolvers (66 percent) and 38 convenience users (34 percent). In administering this guide, cardholders were shown three different sample credit card disclosure statements on the consequences of making minimum payments. We rotated the order in which we showed the disclosure statements to cardholders to control for the learning that could occur during the interview session that could influence their answers in the latter part of the interview. While these one-on-one interviews were administered in-person by an interviewer reading aloud from this guide, respondents were also simultaneously shown cards that listed available answer choices for the closed-ended questions that had several possible answer choices. The interviews were conducted in December 2005 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. A more detailed discussion of our scope and methodology is contained in our report, Credit Cards: Customized Minimum Payment Disclosures Would Provide More Information to Consumers, but Impact Could Vary GAO-06-434.

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