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Credit Card Spending Limits at Highest Point Since End of 2008 Recession
Wednesday, January 29, 2014 7:00 AM

Experian has announced an analysis of bankcard trends from the Q3 2013 Experian–Oliver Wyman Market Intelligence Report, which shows a 29 percent year-over-year increase in bankcard origination volumes (limits), equating to a $16 billion increase in new bankcard limits issued - signaling a return to more normalized borrowing behaviors on the part of consumers.

According to Experian, the Q3 2013 bankcard origination volume of $73 billion was higher than the conclusion of the 2008 recession, as origination volume in Q4 2008 was $70 billion.

Even though overall debt levels for consumers increased 2.5 percent year over year to $10.8 trillion in Q3 2013, Experian notes that it is still well below 2008 levels, when consumer debt was nearly $12 trillion. Additionally, delinquency rates for most lending products are reportedly at or near record lows, indicating that consumers are borrowing more responsibly. Delinquent bankcard charge-offs, according to the report, decreased 16 percent in Q3 2013 compared with last year.

Other bankcard highlights from the Q3 2013 data include:

  • The increase in bankcard originations spanned across all risk segments, highlighting a return to more confident unsecured lending.
  • The prime (661–780) and near-prime (601–660) VantageScore® tiers saw the biggest year-over-year bankcard limit increases.