Saturday, January 3, 2009

U.S. consumers have trouble paying their credit card debts.

Happy New Year? Not for credit card companies

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Credit card companies have little to celebrate as many analysts brace for 2009 to be one of the worst years on record for consumer credit.
Losses for the industry could top $70 billion, but it is hard to predict how bad the pain will be.
U.S. consumers have never before been so deeply in debt. There was nearly $1 trillion of credit and charge card debt outstanding as of October, up more than 25 percent since 2003, according to the U.S. Federal Reserve. That is in addition to $10.54 trillion in mortgage debt.
Unemployment, already at 15-year highs, is expected to rise to its highest levels since the early 1980s, when credit cards were not nearly as widespread.
In short, there's more debt than ever and fewer people are able to pay it.

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