Consumer Payment Card News

Minimum Payments

The effect of higher minimum payments is clearly showing up in credit card industry data as monthly payment rates, the amount that cardholders pay on their credit card debt, continues to hover at record levels. Year to date, the monthly payment rate has averaged 20.36%, running well over 200 basis points from one-year ago. The higher payments are lowering card profits for banks and increasing the pain for risky consumers. Cardholders with interest rates above 20% have been dealing with payments that have doubled since last year. Adding salt to the wound is the rise in all variable interest rates. According to FitchRatings, the payment rate among credit card-backed securities averaged 19.97% during the first quarter and averaged 18.60% for 2005. Five years ago the monthly payment rate hovered around 15%.

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