Credit Card Debt Statistics

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Interesting Credit Card Debt StatisticsCredit card debt statistics.

Top Reasons For Credit Card Debt

Attitudes, Anxiety And Debt

Pay In Full vs. Minimum Payment Only

College Students And Credit Card Debt

Credit Card Debt Statistics (From The UK)


Interesting Credit Card Debt Statistics

  • According the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau, there is a projected increase in the total number of credit card holders, a projected decrease in the number of credit cards, a projected increase in credit card purchase volume and a projected slight decrease in debt outstanding in all credit cards this year.(source: www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2010/tables/10s1151.pdf)
  • In 2010, the US census bureau is reporting that U.S.citizens have over $886 billion in credit card debt and that figure is expected to rise to $1.177 trillion this year. More specifically, the report states that each card holder has an average credit card debt of $5,100 and this number is projected to reach $6,500 by the end of the year.(source: www.money-zine.com/Financial-Planning/Debt-Consolidation/Consumer-Debt-Statistics)
  • TransUnion is reporting that in 2010 the number of credit card delinquencies actually went down by 17% despite the status of the economy.(Source: www.adi-news.com/transunion-credit-card-debt-drop-consumers-swiping-credit-card-wisely/24925/)
  • Statistics of a recent Consumer Reports survey:
    • One-third of Americans do not own a credit card.
    • 54% pay their balance in full each month
    • 33% carry balances up to $10,000 (median balance: $2,254)
    • 13% carry balances over $10,000 (median balance: $17,366)
    • 21% of consumers said they were treated unfairly by card companies and 32% have paid off and closed a card since January 2008. Half of those that canceled did so in direct response to the actions of credit-card issuers, such as cutting limits, hiking rates, or imposing fees.
    • 45% of survey respondents say they are charging less
    • 11% are charging more than they did a year ago(source: Consumer Reports Magazine, November 2009)
  • Americans currently owe $917 billion on revolving credit lines and $69 billion of it is past due, according to the latest Federal Reserve statistics.(source: www.consumerreports.org, September 2009)
  • In September 2008 credit card debt hit an all-time high of $975 billion. Banks shed nearly $76 billion in card account balances over the 11 months preceding August 2009. The Fed said the total outstanding credit card debt at the end of August 2009 was $899 million.
    (source: www.federalreserve.gov)
  • Around the U.S.:
    • Highest state average credit card debt:
      • Alaska at $7,665
      • Tennessee at $7,054
      • Nevada at $6,517.
    • Lowest state average credit card debt:
      • Iowa at $4,247
      • North Dakota at $4,417
      • South Dakota at $4,633
    • The steepest increases in average credit card debt over the previous quarter:
      • District of Columbia +6.3%
      • Tennessee +2.7%
      • Alaska +2.5%
    • The largest drop in average credit card debt over the previous quarter:
  • Charge-off rates in January 2009were 40% higher than a year ago at 7.5% and were expected to approach 9% during the second half of 2009.(source: Credit Card Delinquencies Climb To Record Levels While Loan Write-Offs Soar)
  • The average American household’s credit card debt in 1990 was $2,966. In 2007 it was $9,840.(source: “Don’t Get Clobbered By Credit Cards”, www.parade.com and garyweiss.blogspot.com)
  • In 1968, consumers’ total credit debt was $8 billion (in current dollars). Now the total exceeds $880 billion.(source: www.federalreserve.gov)
  • The U.S. federal government has incurred $59.1 trillion in liabilities, or roughly $516,000 per U.S. household. (Not a credit card debt statistic, per se, but interesting nonetheless.)(source: Dennis Cauchon, USA Today)
  • Only one household in 50 carry more than $20,000 in credit card debt. However, that “one in 50 households” figure represents more than 2 million American homes.(source: Liz Pulliam Weston, www.asklizweston.com)
  • U.S. consumers racked up an estimated $51 billion worth of fast food on their personal credit and debit cards in 2006, compared to $33.2 billion the previous year.(source: www.carddata.com)
  • U.S households will receive approximately 5.3 billion offers for new credit cards in 2007.(source: Synovate, mailmonitor.synovate.com)
  • The average interest rate for standard bank credit cards topped 19% in March 2007, compared to 16.5% in 2003.(source: www.cardtrak.com)
  • There has been a 23% increase over the past 5 years in the number of credit cardholders who use cards that accumulate points for merchandise and/or airline tickets.(source: Vertis)
  • At least one in ten consumers have more than 10 credit cards in their wallets. However the overall average number of credit cards per consumer is 4.(source: Experian’s “National Score Index”)

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Top Reasons For Credit Card Debt

  • As one would expect, late payments on credit card bills are closely link to unemployment levels. Non-farm employment fell 524,000 in December 2008, contributing to the biggest decline in payrolls on a three-month moving average since 1945. The unemployment rate jumped to a 15-year high of 7.2%, from 6.8% in November 2008(source: Credit Card Delinquencies Climb To Record Levels While Loan Write-Offs Soar)
  • 29% of low and middle income households with credit card debt reported that medical expenses contributed to their current balances.(source: www.demos.org)
  • According to the Federal Reserve Bank, 40% of American families spend more than they earn.(source: www.federalreserve.gov)

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Attitudes, Anxiety And Debt

  • Eighty-eight million accounts and credit lines, representing $751 billion in credit, have been closed since September of 2008.(source: www.cardtrak.com, September 2009)
  • According to a recent survey conducted by the National Association for Business Economics (www.nabe.com) the combined threat of subprime loan defaults and excessive indebtedness has overtaken terrorism and the Middle East as the biggest short-term threat to the U.S. economy. 32% of the survey participants cited loan defaults and excessive debt as the biggest threat, compared to only 20% citing terrorism as the biggest threat.(source: Dan Seymour, Associated Press)
  • 64% of the people polled who carry debt admitted that debt is a cause of worry for them. In addition, the study found that men worry less than women about the debt they carry.(source: www.bankrate.com , Feb 2008)
  • Americans have conflicting attitudes about debt. While 91% believe debt can be controlled by disciplined saving and spending, 72% also believe that debt is a part of modern life and difficult to avoid.(source: www.bankrate.com , Feb 2008)
  • 66% of Americans say debt is often the result of unfortunate circumstances beyond a person’s control, while 60% say it is usually the result of bad decisions.(source: www.bankrate.com , Feb 2008)

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Pay In Full vs. Minimum Payment Only

  • 60% of U.S. consumers always (or usually) pay off their bills in full each month. The 40% who don’t pay off their bills each month are called “revolvers”. In 2007, revolvers paid $18.1 billion in penalty fees to credit card companies. This figure is up more than 50% since 2003 and accounts for approximately half of the industry’s $40.7 billion in profits. For the full article, please click here.(source: “Don’t Get Clobbered By Credit Cards”, www.parade.com and garyweiss.blogspot.com)
  • 23.8% of American households have no credit cards at all — no bank cards, no retail cards, nothing. 31.2% of the households. paid off their most recent credit card bills in full.(source: Liz Pulliam Weston, www.asklizweston.com)
  • Approximately half of all credit card holders don’t pay the full amount of credit card charges each month. About 11% say they usually pay only the minimum monthly payment but not much more.(source: Experian-Gallup Personal Credit Index survey)

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College Students And Credit Card Debt

  • 41% of cardholders carried a balance from month to month, and the median amount was $1,000.(source: American Council On Education, www.acenet.com, “Credit Card Ownership and Behavior Among Traditional-Age Undergraduates, 2003-2004)
  • At colleges like South University Savannah, students usually use student loans to pay for tuition. However, approximately 25% of cardholders used their credit card to pay for tuition.(source: American Council On Education, www.acenet.com, “Credit Card Ownership and Behavior Among Traditional-Age Undergraduates, 2003-2004)
  • More than four out of ten young consumers between the ages of 18 and 21 who surf the Web now own a credit card, and 65% of these young consumers used the Web to apply for a credit card.(source: Forrester Research)

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Credit Card Debt Statistics (From The UK)

  • Approximately 24.5 million transactions worth $2.85 billion are spent on credit cards per day in the United Kingdom.(source: Credit Action, www.creditaction.org.uk)
  • Credit cards in issue were 181 million in 2006, which works out to be approximately 4 cards for every adult in the United Kingdom.(source: Credit Action, www.creditaction.org.uk)

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