U.S. Credit Card Debt Rises in 3rd Quarter of 2012

RoadFish.com men’s lifestyle and finance magazine today released their observations surrounding TransUnion’s recent report which revealed a nearly 5% drop in U.S. credit card debt and a 0.04% increase in 90-day overdue credit card payments. RoadFish.com’s take on this issue could prompt Americans to address their debt this season and carefully monitor holiday spending to avoid accruing more debt.

AP Business writer Alex Veiga reported for Boston.com on Monday about a recent TransUnion analysis of consumer-credit data which revealed that American consumers have not only increased the average credit card debt per borrower by 4.9% up from the same time last year, but have decreased timely credit card payments. The TransUnion report showed that the rate of credit card payments which are 90 days or more overdue jumped from 0.71% in the third quarter of 2011 to 0.75% in 2012’s third quarter. Veiga’s article was quick to add that the late payment record is still considered low, with the lowest late payment rate recorded by TransUnion being 0.56% in the mid 90’s.

RoadFish.com is not shocked by the jump in debt, considering back-to-school purchases and end-of-summer travels, but encourages consumers to watch their credit scores for negative impacts as a result. RoadFish.com’s Senior staff writer is quoted as saying, “Credit scores are in part tallied by the credit bureaus taking a look at how much of a consumer’s available credit has been used. So if consumers are using their credit cards more, and getting closer to reaching their credit limit, scores will have a natural tendency to dip as a result. If you haven’t used your free credit report check yet this year, it might be the time to go for it. That way you can assess any damage done and actively work on correcting it. You could even make it part of a New Year’s resolution, but why even wait til the New Year? The sooner, the better to get on it.”

The above-mentioned article states that, despite the increase in credit card usage and late payment rate, it appears as though most consumers are actively working on chipping away at their debt, even if it means giving up certain personal luxuries. TransUnion’s Vice President of the financial services business unit, Ezra Becker, is quoted as saying, “We definitely see consumers being more conservative in their spending and making every effort to pay down the balances and maintain the health of those card relationships.”

RoadFish.com encourages consumers to reign in holiday shopping and carefully monitor their spending to avoid accruing more debt and to keep their personal finances in check. RoadFish.com’s Senior staff writer is quoted as saying, “With credit card usage up, it’s important for consumers to not lose control over the holidays. It’s way too easy to charge holiday purchases like food, new outfits, and especially gifts, with the intention of paying it all off in the New Year. But adding to already existing debt is not wise. I would challenge readers to try their hardest to spend within their means this season, by figuring out their income versus bills, and then calculating how much they have to spend out of their paychecks—not on credit cards. It is entirely possible, although for some it may mean scaling back on expensive gifts and looking for less-costly items that perhaps have more meaning or sentimental value.”

Veiga’s article attributes part of the credit-card balance rise to the fact that banks have been issuing more credit cards to consumers within the past year. According to TransUnion’s data, the rate of bank-issued credit cards was up 3.1% in the second quarter of 2012 from the same time last year.


Post to Twitter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *