Consumers using credit cards more often as gas prices rise

Gas prices are on the rise nationwide, and that is making it more difficult for consumers to afford the fill-ups they need to live their everyday lives. As a result, more Americans are putting these purchases on their credit cards, and balances are rising.

In some parts of the country, gas costs more than $4 per gallon, meaning that consumers —especially those with SUVs or trucks — are spending a larger amount for fuel than they can squeeze into their budgets, according to a report from the Fairfax News. As a consequence, many are putting more of those purchases on their credit cards and running up high balances despite some protections put in place by lenders and gas stations alike.

Many credit card companies and other banks have recently imposed a $75 limit at the pump, though this is ostensibly to protect from fraud rather than consumers' running up higher bills, the report said.

Consumers who want to protect all their accounts should keep close tabs on their credit reports. This will help them make sure there are no unfair or mistaken entries that might be having an adverse affect on their credit.