Consumer Payment Card News

May Debt

Consumer revolving credit resurged in May as Americans tacked on $5.6 billion in net new debt, mostly credit card debt, after dipping by $400 million in the prior month. Revolving consumer credit has now reached a record $961.8 billion and is growing by 7.1% per annum. Based on revised figures, revolving debt declined by 0.5% in April after growing by 7.4% in March. 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 first quarter was about $815 billion or roughly 85% of total revolving credit, according to CardData (“” Store and gas credit cards had about $109 billion in outstandings at year-end 2007. At the end of April, Americans were $2571 billion in debt, excluding home mortgages.

               REVOLVING CREDIT HISTORICAL ($billions)
             May 08   Apr 08   Mar 08   Feb 08   Jan 08   Dec 07
    GRWTH:    7.1%     -0.5     7.4      5.3      7.1      2.8
    $OWED:   $961.8    956.2   956.6    950.7    947.0    941.4
           Source: Federal Reserve; revised figures as of 7/8/08;
       For complete historical data, visit CardData (

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