Credit Card Debt Changes Since 2008

Written by: BetterFinancePath Staff

Personal debt has substantially increased over the last few years.  Since 2008, the economy has not made it any easier for consumers and business owners to manage their debt effectively.  The recession and jobless recovery have caused increased credit card delinquencies for many Americans.  These days, however, credit card companies are taking action for unpaid credit card debt and looking to the court systems to recover their losses.

The Federal Reserve reported in March 2010 that the total revolving debt for consumers went from $958 billion in 2009 to $866 billion in 2010 and credit card debt was ninety eight percent of that total.

One credit bureau, Experian, reported in March 2009 that at the end of 2008, the average revolving balance for credit card users was approximately $1,157. The same report also showed that in the latter part of 2008, consumers over the age of 60 had open retail accounts and bank cards with average balances of about $763. In the previous year, that credit card debt was $735.

In 2008, eighty four percent of college students had about four or more credit cards. Twenty one percent of those who were undergraduates carried an average balance of between $3,000 and $7000. 15 percent of the freshman students in the spring of 2008 had zero credit card balances. However, in contrast, those who graduated in 2008 ended up with an average credit card debt of $4,100.

52% out of 59% Americans who completed a 2008 survey indicated that they paid their mortgages and other utilities first before considering their credit card bill. When they do have the money to pay the credit card bill; 42% pay the minimum.

A study done in 2008 by the Student Monitor Annual Financial Services demonstrated that out of the 41% college students who owned a credit card, 65% of their card balance pay in full each month, which is higher than the adult population.

The 2007 Experian National Score Index Study reported that out of every six families that carried a credit card balance – one family paid the minimum balance due each month.  In a July 2008 by Javelin Strategy and Research Company study found that this had changed.  28 percent of the people surveyed indicated that they were finding it more challenging and difficult to pay their credit card balances.  Most said that they usually paid the minimum.


Credit card balances have fallen since 2008.  Both credit card lenders and borrowers have become wary of incurring additional debt.


Credit Card Debt Changes Since 2008

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