How a good economy can lead to bad debt

Strict guidelines and protection products can minimize credit card delinquency for your credit union.

When it comes to the U.S. economy, there’s good and bad news. The good news is that we’re at almost full employment, and consumers are feeling confident about their ability to maintain a stable income and make large purchases. The bad news? That confidence may be misplaced, since U.S. consumers’ credit card debt is at an all-time high, and delinquencies are rising.

Outstanding Credit Card Debt
Americans’ total outstanding credit card debt is higher than it’s ever been, surpassing $1 trillion last year. Here are some specifics from CNBC Personal Finance:

  • The average American holds a credit card balance of almost $6,500, a 3 percent increase from one year ago.
  • 43 percent of Americans have carried a credit card balance for two years or more.
  • The average U.S. household with credit card debt owes almost $17,000!

Increased Delinquencies
Unfortunately, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, we’re seeing increases in delinquencies at all levels. Between the rising levels of debt and rising interest rates, financial institutions are finding themselves absorbing increasing losses.


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