U.S. bank loans at least 90 days past due or in 'non-accrual' status. Source: FDIC. Graphic: Financial Times

By Alistair Gray
28 February 2018

NEW YORK (Financial Times) – Overdue US credit card debt has reached a seven-year high, underlining the difficulties faced by many consumers in spite of the strong performance of the economy.

Banking sector data show consumers were at least three months behind repayments or considered otherwise distressed on $11.9 billion of credit card debt at the turn of the year, a rise of 11.5 per cent during the fourth quarter.

More Americans are also falling behind on their mortgages, for which problematic debt levels rose 5.2 per cent over the same period to $56.7 billion.

In contrast, the level of commercial and industrial loans that banks deemed to be problematic dropped 8.5 per cent to $18.1 billion.

The figures, published on Tuesday by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, add to concerns that in spite of a strengthening economy, parts of middle America are missing out and are relying on credit cards to get by.

They will also hand ammunition to critics of the US tax cuts who argue the spoils are going to companies rather than families in greater need of support. […]

David Rosenberg, chief economist at Gluskin Sheff, said recent card usage had been “absolutely epic”. “Now it’s time to the pay the piper,” he added. [more]

Overdue US credit card debt hits 7-year high at $11.9bn



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