Our Credit Card Debt Just Got Worse
Q3 wasn't such a stellar one for plastic-happy Americans
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 19, 2012 12:29 PM CST
A Visa credit card is tendered at opening of the Superdry store in New York's Times Square.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

(Newser) – Americans cranked up their use of credit cards in the third quarter, racking up more debt than a year ago, while also being less diligent about making payments on time, an analysis of consumer-credit data shows. The average credit card debt per borrower in the US grew 4.9% in the July-to-September period from a year earlier to $4,996, credit reporting agency TransUnion said today. At the same time, the rate of credit card payments at least 90 days overdue hit 0.75%, up from 0.71% in the third quarter of last year, the firm said.

One likely contributor to the rise in card balances: Banks have been issuing more cards to borrowers, including those with less-than-sterling credit. In Q2 of this year, the number of new cards issued by banks rose 3.1% from a year earlier, with more than a quarter of the cards going to consumers with a nonprime credit score, according to the VantageScore credit scale. A nonprime score is anything below a 700 on the scale, which ranges from 990 to 501. The lower the score, the more of a credit risk a borrower represents to banks.

Copyright 2016 Newser, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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Showing 3 of 48 comments
Nov 22, 2012 5:41 PM CST
China celebrates!
Nov 20, 2012 8:29 AM CST
it looks like no one can control their own spending...from the individual to the fed govt. no one exercises self control and no ones saves for their purchases
Nov 20, 2012 5:45 AM CST
Have you Americans learned nothing at all from the financial crisis. Do you really think you can spend your way out of any financial crisis............using credit. Don't say you were not warned when this comes back and bites you all in the ass. If the current crisis is not enough to teach you the error of your overspending ways, you are beyond financial salvation. And you can call me...............Mr Joshua