Research and Statistics

Banks become more generous with card credit limits


Credit card issuers are showing their confidence in consumers and the economy by boosting the number of card offers and the size of their credit limits, says a banking trade group report

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Banks have became more generous in granting credit lines, a report from the American Bankers Association shows.

The banking trade group’s quarterly Credit Card Market Monitor found that the card market picked up in the third quarter of 2014, reflecting a stronger economy. Monthly purchase volumes rose, new account volume was up 13 percent over a year ago and card issuers became more generous with the amount their willing to lend. The report was released March 26, 2015.

The size of credit lines on subprime accounts overall slipped slightly, but that was the exception. When it came to new accounts, all three account types improved, particularly prime, with a 2.3 percent increase. It was the first time in four years average credit lines for both prime and superprime were up.

Credit card offers reflect the larger economy, said Molly Wilkinson, executive director of the ABA’s Card Policy Council. “The market trends we’re seeing go hand in hand with a healthy economy as consumers continue to do a good job of managing their credit even as access to credit increases … Both banks and consumers are feeling better about the state of the economy, and many lenders are gaining confidence in consumers’ ability to meet their financial obligations,” Wilkinson said.

Subprime accounts include accountholders with credit scores below 680 points; for prime, it’s a score of 680-759; and for superprime, it’s a score of 760 or better. The credit card data were taken from a nationally representative sample from Argus.


See related:In hard times, keeping credit lines high may trump paying off debt, More infographics

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