Payment Card News

March Debt

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Revolving consumer credit continued to hover above the $800 billion milestone in March. However, Americans added a mere $400 million to revolving credit during the third month of the new year, compared to nearly $3 billion one-year ago. Monthly payment rates continue to clip growth in credit card debt. The higher MPR is a combination of low mortgage interest rates and consumer credit score knowledge. According to the Federal Reserve, Americans owed $800.5 billion in revolving credit at the end of March, compared to $796.4 billion for January. One-year ago revolving credit stood at approximately $767.6 billion. The annual growth rate is now 0.6%, compared to 4.8% in the previous month, and 3.6% one-year ago. Bank credit card debt (excluding store and gas credit cards) at the end of the first quarter was about $671 billion, or roughly 84% of total revolving credit, according to CardData (www.carddata.com). At the end of March, Americans were $2127 billion in debt, excluding home mortgages.

                 REVOLVING CREDIT HISTORICAL ($billions)
           Mar 05  Feb 05   Jan 05   Dec 04   Nov 04   Sep 04   Mar 04
 GRWTH:     0.6%    4.8       6.3      3.7      0.9      9.1      3.6
 $OWED:    $800.5   800.1    796.9    792.7    784.0    785.4    767.6
     Source: Federal Reserve; revised figures as of 5/06/05;
     For complete historical data, visit CardData (www.carddata.com)

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