Consumer Payment Card News

Nov Debt

Consumer revolving credit, mostly credit card debt, declined in November for the first time in 2008, after hitting the brakes in the prior month. Americans cut $2.8 billion off total consumer revolving credit after adding $37 billion between January and September of last year. Lower credit limits, reduced personal income and higher credit card interest rates appear to be contributing factors. Revolving credit now stands at $973.5 billion in November and is now declining at a 3.4% annual rate. In September, revolving credit jumped by $2.5 billion reflecting an annual growth rate of 3.2%, according to data released by the Federal Reserve. 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 $2571 billion in debt, excluding home mortgages.

           REVOLVING CREDIT HISTORICAL ($billions)
          Nov 08   Oct 08    Sep 08   Aug 08   Jul 08   Jun 08
GRWTH:    -3.4%     0.0%      3.1      2.5      5.6      3.5
$OWED:    $973.5   976.3     976.3    973.8    970.1    965.7
       Source: Federal Reserve; revised figures as of 1/8/09;
   For complete historical data, visit CardData (

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