Survey: Credit card interest rates stay at 14.95 percent
Interest rates on new credit card offers remained flat this
week, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report.
|CreditCards.com's Weekly Rate Report
||6 months ago
|Methodology: The national average credit card APR is comprised of 100 of the most popular credit cards in the country, including cards from dozens of leading U.S. issuers and representing every card category listed above. Introductory, or teaser, rates are not included in the calculation.
|Updated: March 13, 2013
The national average annual percentage rate (APR) remained
at 14.95 percent Wednesday for the fourth consecutive week.
None of the issuers tracked by CreditCards.com made
significant rate changes this week. Two issuers did, however, adjust the
promotional offers on two student credit cards.
US Bank eliminated the promotional APR and introductory
balance transfer rate on the US Bank College card. Previously, students were
offered six months of interest-free financing on balance transfers and new
Now, students who want to capitalize on interest-free
financing will have to look elsewhere for a card. The US Bank College card is
the only student credit card that US Bank offers online.
Discover also tightened its promotional offer on the Discover "it" for students card this week, after briefly testing a longer-term
promotion. Students now have just six months to take advantage of the card's
promotional financing offers, including a 10.99 percent introductory rate on
balance transfers and a 0 percent APR on purchases.
Students who want a longer-term promotion will have trouble
finding one. Most issuers offer similar time frames for student cards.
For example, among the seven student cards that
CreditCards.com tracks, three offer promotional financing for six or seven
months. An equal number offer no promotional financing.
Only one issuer tracked by CreditCards.com, Bank of America,
offers longer-term promotions for college students. The BankAmericard for
Students features an interest-free promotional balance transfer and a 0 percent
APR that lasts as long as 15 months.
Late payments fall to
Credit card issuers, which have been dialing back promotions or leaving current offers
alone while they wait out the weak economy, have some reason to celebrate this
Fewer credit card holders are letting their credit card
bills go to collections and many more are paying their bills on time, according
to a new report from Fitch Ratings. Credit card charge-offs -- debt that issuers have given up
on collecting -- fell to a six-year-low in February 2013, according to the
March 12 report by Fitch Ratings. Charge-off rates have been
steadily improving since 2010, with occasional fluctuations. They're now down by
26 percent compared to the same time last year.
Late payments on credit cards also fell in February, hitting
the lowest level ever recorded by Fitch since it began collecting late payment
data in 1991.
The marked improvement in both delinquencies -- late payments
by 30 days or more -- and charge-offs underscores just how far consumers have
come in recent years.
By the final quarter of 2012, for example, the amount of
outstanding debt that consumers still owed to their credit card companies
reached its lowest level in 17 years, according to an earlier report from
"Consumers' resilience at keeping their debt in check while
continuing to pay it down is keeping monthly payments steady," said Fitch
Managing Director Michael Dean in a statement
at the time.
In addition, consumers are also paying down their balances
at a historically fast pace, according to Fitch's most recent report. The Fitch
Index's Monthly Payment Rate -- which measures the amount of time it takes cardholders
to pay down their balances -- bounced to 24.83 percent in February. That's the
highest level ever recorded, according to Fitch.
See related: Card complaints zing companies
Published: March 13, 2013