Consumer Payment Card News

October Debt

Consumer revolving credit, mostly credit card debt, remained level in October, but revised figures show September grew three times as much as previously reported. Nevertheless, Americans continued to slow down their spending amidst lower credit limits, reduced personal income and higher card interest rates. Revolving credit remained at $976 billion in October. In September, revolving credit jumped by $2.5 billion reflecting an annual growth rate of 3.5%. The measurement was previously reported figure as $900 million with a 1.2% per annum growth rate. According to data released by the Federal Reserve, total revolving credit has expanded by about $54 billion over the past twelve months. Bank credit card debt (excluding store and gas credit cards) at the end of the third quarter was about $830 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 October, Americans were $2578 billion in debt, excluding home mortgages.

           REVOLVING CREDIT HISTORICAL ($billions)
          Oct 08    Sep 08   Aug 08   Jul 08   Jun 08  May 08
GRWTH:    -0.2%      3.1      2.5      5.6      3.5     7.1
$OWED:    $976.1    976.3    973.8    970.1    965.7   963.2
       Source: Federal Reserve; revised figures as of 12/5/08;
   For complete historical data, visit CardData (

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