Report: Credit card late payments hit record high
Recession takes toll as lenders charge off more bad debt
Credit card late payments hit a record high in January, according to a report released Feb. 4, as the recession continues to take its toll on consumers.
The Fitch Ratings report paints a bleak picture of credit card delinquencies. It projects that charge-offs will breach the 8 percent mark in coming months and approach 9 percent during the second half of 2009. Charge-offs occur when credit card lenders give up on collecting a debt and charge it off their accounts.
"U.S.consumers continue to struggle in the face of mounting pressures on multiple fronts, from employment to housing to net worth," said Fitch Managing Director Michael Dean. Fitch watches credit card delinquency and charge-off rates for the purpose of rating the asset-backed securities that credit card issuers assemble and sell.
Late-pay and charge-off rates were not evenly spread out. The charge-off rate for prime general purpose cards, for example, rose about a half point to 7.50 percent. But retail card charge-offs hit 10.51 percent, 44 percent higher than a year ago.
See related: How credit card securities work
- 5 steps to rebuild credit after prison – Prison can wreck your credit; bouncing back takes work ...
- Bad credit? You’re still a target for identity thieves – Many consumers believe identity thieves won't touch them because of their poor credit. It's not true ...
- 4 questions to ask to score the best secured card – Know what to ask when shopping for a secured card to increase your chances to be approved while keeping your score intact ...