Consumer Payment Card News

Credit Card Debt Rises Slightly in November Driven by Holiday Spending

U.S. consumer credit card debt (revolving) for November, mostly credit card debt (95%), remained above the $1 trillion level for the ninth consecutive quarter. The year-on-year (YOY) change edged slightly upward in November. Consumer revolving credit increased at an annual growth rate of 5.5% in November. and an annual rate of 10.9% growth in October, compared to a revised 0.0% annual rate in September, according to CardData

U.S. Credit Card Debt

Consumers of late have been taking on more debt, but the growth rate is down about one-third of the annual growth rate of the prior year. U.S. revolving consumer credit is now growing at a 5.5% year-on-year (YOY) or annual rate, compared to a 4.8% annual growth rate of the prior year.

According to the Federal Reserve, revolving consumer credit outstandings (mostly credit card) stood at a revised $1024.0 billion for end-of-year (EOY) 2017, compared to $969.4 billion for EOY 2016, and $907.9 billion for EOY 2015. At the end of the third quarter of 2018, revolving consumer credit stood at $1028.2 billion.

Non-revolving credit increased at an annual rate of +7.1% in November, according to CardData.

Total U.S. Consumer Credit to Set New Record by Year-End 2018

Total revolving credit for November posted at $1042.2 billion, compared to a revised $1037.4 billion in October and a revised $1028.0 billion in September, according to the Federal Reserve.

On a quarterly basis U.S. revolving consumer credit is growing by +6.6% YOY to a revised $1028.0 billion for 3Q/18, compared to a revised $1022.5 billion for 2Q/18, and $1003.5 billion for 3Q/17.

Total consumer credit, at the end of November, stood at $3979.2 billion. Total U.S. consumer credit is projected to top $4 trillion by end of 2018, according to RAM Research.

U.S. Consumer Revolving Credit

4Q/15: $938.8 billion
1Q/16: $953.2 billion
2Q/16: $968.1 billion
3Q/16: $980.7 billion
4Q/16: $969.6 billion
1Q/17: $979.9 billion
2Q/17: $991.5 billion
3Q/17: $1003.5 billion
4Q/17: $1024.0 billion
1Q/18: $1023.5 billion
2Q/18: $1022.7 billion
3Q/18: $1028.2 billion

Source: Federal Reserve; RAM Research; CardData
New and Revised Data as of 01/08/19

Top 4 U.S. Issuers

Credit card loans (outstandings) end-of-period (EOP) in the U.S., among the Top 4 U.S. issuers, gained a mere 1.5% in the fourth quarter (4Q/18) year-on-year (YOY), posting $444.1 billion. The YOY growth rate is down 230 basis points (bps), compared to the prior quarter, based on data collected by CardData.