Consumer Payment Card News

March Debt

Consumer revolving credit jump significantly in March as Americans tacked on more $6.0 billion in net new debt, mostly credit card debt, compared to the prior month. In February consumers added about $4 billion. Revolving consumer credit has now reached a record $957.2 billion and is growing by 7.9% per annum. Based on revised figures, revolving debt rose 5.0% in February and 7.1% in January. According to data released by the Federal Reserve, total revolving credit has expanded by $70 billion over the past twelve months. Bank credit card debt (excluding store and gas credit cards) at the end of the fourth quarter was about $800 billion or roughly 85% of total revolving credit, according to CardData (“www.carddata.com”:www.carddata.com). Store and gas credit cards had about $109 billion in outstandings at year-end 2007. At the end of March, Americans were $2558 billion in debt, excluding home mortgages.

               REVOLVING CREDIT HISTORICAL ($billions)
             Mar 08   Feb 08   Jan 08   Dec 07   Nov 07  Oct 07
    GRWTH:    7.9%     5.0      7.1      2.8     12.8    8.7
    $OWED:    $957.2  950.9    947.0   941.4    939.6   921.8
           Source: Federal Reserve; revised figures as of 5/7/08;
       For complete historical data, visit CardData ("www.carddata.com":www.carddata.com)

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