The health of the credit card industry is best measured not by the number of people with cards, but rather the number who pay their bills. Bad payment habits begin by nicking you with more fees and lower credit scores, and, in advanced cases, can lead to the loss of a vehicle or home, garnishment and bankruptcy.
Credit card delinquencies have been improving for a long time. Delinquencies on bank cards fell in the third quarter of 2019, declining further below the 4.33% average that prevailed before the recession, according to the American Bankers Association’s Consumer Credit Delinquency Bulletin.1 Bank card delinquencies dipped two basis points to 2.96% of all accounts in the third quarter, remaining well below their 15-year average of 3.68%. The ABA report defines a delinquency as a late payment that is 30 days or more overdue.
TransUnion’s Industry Insights Report found the credit card delinquency rate reached 1.81% in Q3 2019, rising from 1.71% for Q3 2018. The credit bureau’s figures are based on accounts that are 90 days or more overdue. The credit card delinquency rate remains more than a full percentage point below its peak in Q4 2009 though (2.97%).
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York measures credit card delinquencies based on the percent of balances that are at least 90 days late. For the third quarter of 2019, that rate was about 8%, about the same level as in the previous quarter.
However, charge-offs, another indicator of credit risk, are up. A charge-off occurs when a card issuer gives up on collecting a particular debt. The charge-off rate on credit card loans from the top 100 banks was 3.70% in the third quarter of 2019, up from 3.55% the year before…Read more>>