The collective sense of austerity that has led many in Florida and around the country to be more cautious when taking on debt seems to be subsiding somewhat, according to recent reports. A quarterly report issued from the Federal Reserve Bank said that while the country’s debt decreased by a total of $74 billion in the third quarter of 2012, credit card debt is back on the rise.
In fact, Americans $2 billion in new consumer credit card debt during the same time period as the overall debt level was going down so significantly. Student debt continued to rise, as has been the trend, and more people took out car loans during the third quarter as well.
The good news is that on bank-issued credit cards, delinquencies are at a two-decade low. Still, experts say that banks are offering credit cards to many more subprime borrowers, which are people who are less likely to be able to pay the full balance of their credit card off. these types of borrowers are also more likely to default, but experts say that banks still find it worthwhile because of the late fees and the high interest rates associated with credit cards. This should serve as a reminder to Florida borrowers that being approved for a new credit card doesn’t necessarily indicate that one has the finances to afford the payments once a balance is racked up.
It’s also important to remember that banks are for-profit companies, and that credit cards are one of the few products that they offer that are not subject to as many consumer protection laws as debit cards and mortgages. This means that fees and penalties are still quite high on many of these cards, which can put a major burden on a borrower who is already behind.
Source: Time, “Why More Americans Will Fall Behind on Credit Card Bills This Year,” Martha C. White, Jan. 7, 2013.
Information about solving credit card debt problems is available on our Orlando law firm site.