Consumer Payment Card News

Card Debt

A new survey has found that typical credit card debt has grown to its highest level on record. In 2004 the typical family with credit card debt owed $2,150, up 62.9% since 1989. The study by the Center for American Progress also found that credit card debt levels relative to income are highest among low-income families. Low-income families owed the equivalent of 9.5% of their income on credit cards, while middle-class families owed 5.2%, and high-income families owed 2.3%. The share of families with high credit card payments – above 10% of income – rose from 13.5% in 1989 to 23% in 2004. Also, delinquency rates are greater for families with high levels of credit card debt than for families with high levels of overall debt. While 9.9% of families with high credit card debt were 60 days late on at least one payment, 7.5% of families with high overall debt were 60 days late on at least one payment.

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|_2. FAMILY CARD DEBT |
|_. 1989: | 39.6% |
|_. 1992: | 43.7% |
|_. 1995: | 47.3% |
|_. 1998: | 44.1% |
|_. 2001: | 44.4% |
|_. 2004: | 46.2% |
|_2. Source: Center for American Progress |

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