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Feds Release In-Depth Report On The State Of Credit
11 Jan
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently released its biennial in-depth report on the state of credit in the United States. The report sheds light on many aspects of the credit card industry, including how many people are using online services to access their accounts, how many credit cards the average household has, and the growing popularity of secured credit cards.

Credit use is up from the last time the CFPB conducted their research; the total amount of accounts, credit lines, credit card debt, and online card services enrollment have all increased. This is the third year that the CFPB has released this report; previous reports were issued in 2013 and 2015.

Certain key findings were troubling: average credit card debt is up 9% over the last two years, and average balances have increased more quickly for folks with poor credit. Cardholders who are considered sub-prime have seen their average credit card debt jump by 26% over the past two years. However, the average number of credit cards held by each household has decreased slightly. While before the recession, the average household had five credit cards, that has dropped to four cards now.

Online accounts and secured cards are on the rise

The CFPB found that many people are taking advantage of online services offered by their credit card issuers. More than 60% of credit card accounts are enrolled in online services, the survey found. Using their online accounts, folks can see their balance, pay their bill, transfer money, analyze spending, and make plans to pay down debt using debt calculators.

Secured credit cards are also increasingly popular among many consumers. These cards are readily available to people with poor credit or no credit, and are often used to build credit history and improve credit scores. Since many people are trying to repair their credit and achieve a good credit score, these cards are doing well. The number of new secured card accounts was 7% higher in 2016 than 2017, and accounted for about 5% of all general-purpose credit card account originations. They are especially popular among the 21-34 year-old demographic.

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Card Issuers
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Customer Questions

  • To set a PIN on your credit card, you should call the credit card issuer at the number on the back of your credit card and request your PIN. After that, the issuer will mail to you your PIN. In the meantime, if you need cash, you can go to a bank office and present your credit card and picture ID.

  • Avoiding your credit card bill will do a lot of damage on your credit and you will need a good deal of time and effort to undo it. When you miss a payment, you get slapped with late fees. If you do not make a payment for an entire billing cycle, you’ll be considered 30 days past due and this will be reported to the...

  • The overall process of getting a credit card can take up to 30 business days. To know the status of your credit card applications you should contact the credit card issuer. A quick online search for the bank or credit card issuer's name should turn up a customer service phone number or email address. Banks and credit card...

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