Consumer Payment Card News

December Debt

Surprisingly, Americans lopped off $1 billion from revolving consumer credit during December but continue to hover at the $800 billion level. Over the past five years, revolving debt has risen $20 billion annually, except for 2004, when it grew nearly $30 billion. During the 2005 the monthly payment rate soared to 19% indicating that more consumers are clearing off balances each month and shifting to debit cards. According to data released this week by the Federal Reserve, total revolving credit stood at $801.3 billion at the end of December, compared to a revised $802.3 billion for November and a revised $801.4 billion for October. The revised annual rate of growth for November was 1.3% and -1.5% for October. Bank credit card debt (excluding store and gas credit cards) at the end of the third quarter was $671.7 billion or roughly 84% of total revolving credit, according to CardData (“” Managed card loans among the top five U.S. issuers grew 1.9% during the third quarter, compared to one-year ago. At the end of December, Americans were $2161.5 billion in debt, excluding home mortgages.

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