Consumer Payment Card News

April Debt

Consumer revolving credit, mostly credit card debt, continued its downward trend in April, posting its eighth consecutive monthly decline and its third straight month of double digit contraction. Since peaking at $977 billion in the third quarter, Americans have chopped-off about $46 billion in revolving credit. According to new and revised data released by the Federal Reserve, revolving credit now stands at $931.0 billion and declining at an 11.0% annual rate. In March, revolving credit declined to a revised $939.6 billion reflecting an annual contraction ratio of 11.2%. February posted the largest contraction over the past eight month, dropping nearly $13 billion, declining at an annual rate of about 14%. Lower credit limits, reduced personal income and a building aversion to personal credit continue to be cited as factors for the sluggish growth. Bank credit card debt (excluding store and gas credit cards) at the end of the first quarter was about $800 billion or roughly 85% of total revolving credit, according to CardData ( Store and gas credit cards had about $105 billion in outstandings at year-end 2008. At the end of March, Americans were $2524 billion in debt, excluding home mortgages.

        Apr  09   Mar 09    Feb 09    Jan 09   Dec 08   Nov 08
GRWTH:   -11.0%   -11.2      -13.9     -0.7     -6.5     -7.1
$OWED:  $931.0    939.6     948.4     961.0    960.9    968.1
     Source: Federal Reserve; revised figures as of 6/5/09;
 For complete historical data, visit CardData (

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