The Checkout

Credit Card Debt Is Up

Nancy Trejos

No surprise here. Credit card debt is ticking up.

TransUnion, one of the three main credit bureaus, reported that in the second quarter of this year, national credit card debt per borrower increased 2.63 percent to $1,717 from the previous quarter's $1,673. That is also an 8.6 percent jump from a year ago, when average debt was $1,581.

What state has the most debt-ridden people? Alaska, with $2,494 per borrower.

What state has the least? Iowa, with $1,281.

How are we faring around here? The District of Columbia has the fourth highest average debt, with $2,009 per borrower.

The District also had the steepest increase in average credit card debt over the previous quarter.

TransUnion pulled this information from a database consisting of 27 million anonymous consumer records randomly sampled every quarter.

One positive note: The national credit card delinquency incidence rate, or the ratio of borrowers 90 or more days past due, declined for the second quarter in a row.

Nationally, the ratio of borrowers delinquent on one or more card was 1.04 percent, which is a12.6 percent drop from the previous quarter.

That said, in one year, the national delinquency incidence rate has risen 14.3 percent from 0.91 percent in the second quarter of 2007.

TransUnion predicts that the delinquency rate will eventually go up.

"Gas prices will continue to add to the overall financial burden on the consumer at least through the end of the summer. In conjunction with fall/winter holiday seasonality effects, this will contribute to an overall increase in delinquency through the fourth quarter," said Ezra Becker, principal consultant in TransUnion's financial services group.

By Nancy Trejos |  September 17, 2008; 7:12 AM ET Customer Service , Economy Watch , Nancy Trejos
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