Of the total $2.45 trillion in outstanding US consumer debt, total outstanding revolving credit dropped in July from $795.9 billion to total $792.5 billion, the first drop in 2 months. This compares to the June figure of 795.9 and is consistent with trends over the past 2 and half years showing revolving consumer credit plummeted from its peak of $973.6 billion in August 2008 by a staggering $179.6 billion, only lurching upwards otherwise in December of 2010, in March of 2011. The July figure is also down 5.2% since the year ago figure of $818.0 billion.
This comes at a time card issuers are seeking new ways to grow responsibly and are increasingly focusing on the non-prime consumer market, indicating credit standards are beginning to loosen. With card issuers continue to work through elevated charge-off levels, they are focusing on new segmentation approaches and using new analytics and data types. Nevertheless, more risk taken on the issuers’ behalf is sure to lead to increasing debt and the inevitable delinquency with the territory (Cardflash Library, 2011-07-08, 2011-08-09).