Consumer Payment Card News

Payment Rates

The amount Americans are paying each month on their credit card bills has blasted through the 19% level and is now the highest in nearly 15 years. The monthly payment rate has remained above 18% for the past four months. For September, the figure was 18.39%. One-year ago the monthly payment rate was 17.56%, according to FitchRatings. As a result of the steep rise in payments, driven by debt consolidation via mortgages, the bank credit card industry has experienced sluggish growth in card loans. During the third quarter, the top issuers posted an average gain in card loans of only 1.9% over the third quarter of last year. Two of the nation’s top issuers, Citibank and MBNA, reported at least a 1% decline in outstandings compared to 3Q/04, according to CardData (“www.carddata.com”:www.carddata.com).

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