Report: Average credit card debt rises

Jeff Horwich Nov 19, 2012
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Report: Average credit card debt rises

Jeff Horwich Nov 19, 2012
HTML EMBED:
COPY

The credit report company TransUnion is reporting that average credit card debt per borrower grew five percent in the latest quarter. So, if Americans are starting to rely on their credit cards again, is that a good sign or a bad sign?

“The uptick that we are seeing in credit card debt is not by itself alarming,” says Katie Porter, a law professor at UC Irvine who tracks consumer finance issues. According to Porter, the credit report only reveals a small portion of the overall picture. Mortgage and car liabilites, which are major debts for most consumers, would be more telling. 

Yet, Porter suggests the modest growth in credit card debt can be read as a sign that consumers are feeling slightly more confident, “They are reaching for that card just an extra time or two a month or making a little bit larger purchases,” says Porter.

As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.

Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.

Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.