Credit Cards Blog

Finance Blogs » Credit Cards Blog » Credit card balances rise in July

Credit card balances rise in July

By Janna Herron ·
Thursday, August 29, 2013
Posted: 4 pm ET

Credit card balances increased year-over-year for the first time in five years, according to a report released Thursday from credit reporting bureau Equifax.

Balances totaled $536.5 billion at the end of July, up less than 1 percent from $533.3 billion the year before. At the same time, serious delinquencies -- at least 120 days past due -- fell 11 percent to 1.86 percent of all outstanding balances in July versus a year ago.

The report contained other milestones for credit cards, which exclude store credit cards. The total amount of new credit opened between January and May of this year reached $77.7 billion, the highest level since 2008 and a 6 percent increase over the same period last year. The total number of new cards issued also hit a five-year high.

The data suggests that consumers are starting to feel more confident about their personal finances and the overall economy, says Robert Hammer, owner and CEO of R.K. Hammer, a bank card advisory firm in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

"We are heading in the right direction, but there's still some caution," says Hammer.

Other barometers back up the cautious optimism.

Bankrate's Financial Security Index has remained in positive territory for six straight months, even though the readings from July and August backed away from the all-time high reached in June. Similarly, the Consumer Confidence Index from The Conference Board, a private research firm in New York, rose to its second-highest reading since January 2008 in August. The highest reading in the past five years was in June.

The Equifax report also found that student loan debt swelled 11.3 percent year-over-year and auto loan balances swelled by 10.9 percent.

Balances on loans related to homes all fell from the prior year. First mortgages slipped 0.9 percent. Home equity loans decreased 4.1 percent and home equity lines of credit, or HELOCs, declined 8.9 percent.

Follow me on Twitter: @JannaHerron

Bankrate wants to hear from you and encourages comments. We ask that you stay on topic, respect other people's opinions, and avoid profanity, offensive statements, and illegal content. Please keep in mind that we reserve the right to (but are not obligated to) edit or delete your comments. Please avoid posting private or confidential information, and also keep in mind that anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

By submitting a post, you agree to be bound by Bankrate's terms of use. Please refer to Bankrate's privacy policy for more information regarding Bankrate's privacy practices.
Arnoldo Cheevers
April 24, 2014 at 6:03 pm

What’s Happening i'm new to this, I stumbled upon this I've found It absolutely helpful and it has aided me out loads. I hope to contribute & aid other users like its aided me. Good job.

April 05, 2014 at 12:09 pm

Wonderful blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News. Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I've been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Thank you

Rosena Silovich
April 01, 2014 at 3:28 am

Undeniably believe that which you said. Your favorite reason seemed to be on the net the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed while people think about worries that they plainly do not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well as defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people could take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

Agen Bola Online
March 19, 2014 at 2:57 am

Hi there, You've done a great job. I’ll definitely digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I am sure they'll be benefited from this site.

Learn More about virgin hair bundle deals!
February 18, 2014 at 6:39 am

I lately stumbled on your web page and also have already been learning along. I was pondering I could possibly leave my extremely initially remark. I do not know what to state except that I've liked reading via. Solid website. I am going to maintain browsing this web site extremely usually.

Lonnie Deever
February 13, 2014 at 6:27 pm

What i do not realize is in reality how you are not really much more neatly-appreciated than you might be right now. You are very intelligent. You understand therefore considerably relating to this subject, made me individually believe it from a lot of varied angles. Its like women and men aren't fascinated unless it's one thing to accomplish with Woman gaga! Your own stuffs nice. Always maintain it up!

team sports bags
February 07, 2014 at 3:01 am

Your blog is incredible dude. i love to visit it daily. incredibly good layout and content material “

Lucille Thompson
November 11, 2013 at 12:04 am

Today, with the fast life-style that everyone leads, credit cards have a big demand throughout the market. Persons from every area are using the credit card and people who aren't using the credit cards have made arrangements to apply for just one.

Cory Erickson
November 10, 2013 at 11:27 pm

Today, taking into consideration the fast way of life that everyone leads, credit cards have a big demand throughout the economy. Persons throughout every discipline are using the credit card and people who are not using the credit cards have made arrangements to apply for one in particular.

Fernando Briggs
November 10, 2013 at 9:15 pm

Today, with the fast chosen lifestyle that everyone is having, credit cards have a big demand throughout the market. Persons out of every area of life are using credit card and people who aren't using the credit cards have arranged to apply for one in particular. Thanks for expressing your ideas about credit cards.