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Three-quarters of dealers responding to a just-competed ProSales survey say they are seeing more use of credit cards at their stores. And while they find the trend troubling, most still accept them--even to pay past-due balances.

"I hate them. Even with the 3% charge, we recoup only about half the cost of taking them," one dealer declared. "They are a necessary evil."

Of the 162 respondents from across the country who took part in the survey--all claiming some authority over or role in collections at their company--35% said the total number of charge accounts paying by credit cards has risen by more than 10% since June 2014. Another 41% said the number of payments using plastic had grown between zero and 10%.

In dollar terms, meanwhile, the change was even bigger: 39% said the dollar volume of payments made via credit cards had grown more than 10% since June 2014, while 36% said it was up between zero and 10%.

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