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Credit card debt rises in third quarter, P. 1

Americans pulled out the plastic at a higher rate this summer when compared to last year. After the Great Recession hit, many Americans reined in their use of credit cards to make purchases or pay other bills. But a recent report indicates that between July and September, American consumers turned to credit cards, with the average credit card balance rising 4.9 percent over the amount of debt consumers held one year earlier.

As credit card debt rose across the country, TransUnion, a credit reporting agency, says that late payments toward credit card debt showed a slight uptick. The agency's analysis of consumer-credit data reportedly showed the rate of overdue credit card payments exceeding 90 days rose to 0.75 percent-an increase from the 0.71 percent rate recorded during the same time frame one year earlier.

The actual changes do not appear to be a drastic fluctuation in year-to-year credit card spending. A vice president with the credit reporting agency says that the numbers do not indicate that there has been a real change in credit card use since consumers reined in spending during the recession. He says, "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," according to the Associated Press.

The credit reporting agency says that the average amount of credit card debt per borrower rose to $4,996. While roughly $5,000 may or may not be a financial hardship on an average household budget, the number does indicate that many households have higher and lower debt burdens. Cincinnati bankruptcy lawyers know that a single debt balance may also not reflect the overall debt of a household budget. Multiple debts can involve a variety of types of debt, from secured debts to medical debts and more.

In the next post, this blog will continue discussing the recent analysis of average credit card debt, including what the analysts say that the numbers may indicate.

Source: USA Today, "Average credit card debt per borrower up in 3Q," Associated Press, Nov. 19, 2012

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