This Week In Credit Card News: How Thieves Steal Your Card; Are Rising Delinquency Rates A Concern?

Crime Confessions: How I Stole Your Credit Card

Roughly one in three Americans had their credit card information stolen in the past five years.  If identity thieves get your credit card, they can ring up a huge shopping bill and it can take months to undo the damage. A former identity thief, told how he operated. After serving prison time, he wants to give back to the community by sharing his secrets so you can avoid becoming a victim of credit card fraud. [KGW]

Read how thieves can make thousands of dollars each day stealing credit card numbers. Photo credit: Shutterstock

Delinquency Rates Rise For Student Loans, Credit Cards, and Auto Loans

In the first quarter of 2017, household debt surpassed the previous peak of $12.7 trillion, seen during the Great Recession. Rising debt levels may become a problem. From the first quarter of 2009 to mid-2013, consumers paid down debt. Since mid-2013, households have taken on more debt. The composition of household debt has changed since the recession. In 2006 and 2007, mortgage debt was over 73% of household debt. Today, mortgages make up 67% of household debt. As the share of mortgage debt has declined, the shares of auto loans and student loans have been rising. This quarter saw a notable uptick in credit card debt transitioning into delinquencies. At the end of 2016, the 30-day delinquency rate on credit cards was 5.1%. In the first quarter of this year, the delinquency rate rose to 5.9%. The severely delinquent rate on credit cards—those at least 90 days late–increased from 3.5% to 4.1%. [AIER]

Credit Card Limits Rise at the Top, Fall at the Bottom

The number of people with bank credit cards has hit 171.4 million and that exceeds pre-recession levels. But only consumers with the highest credit scores have seen a significant increase in the average amount of credit available to them. Since 2010, credit limits for “super prime” consumers increased by an average of $4,195, to $33,371, according to a report by TransUnion. For “subprime” consumers, credit lines decreased by an average of $1,069.  [Nerd Wallet]

Nearly Half of Americans Don’t Pay Their Credit Card Bill in Full

Are you a “revolver” or a “transactor”? If you have an active credit card account, you fall into one of those categories. Based on recent data from the American Banker’s Association, you are far more likely to be a revolver (carrying a balance from month to month) than a transactor (paying off their complete balance each month), and that is good news for the credit card industry. During the fourth quarter of 2016, revolvers hold 43.7% of all credit card accounts while transactors hold only 29.1%. The remaining 27.2% of accounts have no activity and are considered dormant. That means almost half of all credit card accounts–and 60% of active accounts–carry a balance. [KSDK]

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