Just in time for the holidays news has come that average personal credit card debt has increased compared to last year. From July through September debt per borrower grew by 4.9 percent to just under $5,000 according to TransUnion.
Unfortunately consumers are also not paying their bills on time. The rate of average credit card debt past due over 90 days is up to .75 percent. The rate of delinquent payments is actually rising from record lows in the past few months. In the second quarter of this year the percentage of late payments received was at .60 percent, nearly as low as it was in 1994.
Although credit card debt and delinquent payments are up its likely due to holiday spending as consumers are more likely to take in more debt during this time of year. In the past few months more companies have been hiring which led to higher consumer confidence in the economy, another possible reason for more spending.
Data shows that the amount of new cards issued by banks also grew by 3.1 percent earlier this year, particularly to consumers with a credit score of less 700. These lenders issuing out more credit cards could have also caused the rise in credit card debt.
TransUnion does forecast however that in the fourth quarter delinquency rates will still continue to be low.
The holidays are all about spending, but remember to make your payments on time and to continue to pay off your debt as best as you can.