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The Broad, Continuing Rise in U.S. Credit Card Debt Delinquency
FRB of St. Louis
2024.05.16
In August 2023, a Regional Economist article described a recent rise in credit card debt delinquencies. In this blog post, we highlight that the increase in U.S. credit card delinquencies has continued. While the incidence varies, rising delinquency is pervasive across geographies and different metrics.
We base our analysis on quarterly data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Equifax Consumer Credit Panel. A credit card account is delinquent if payments are 30 days or more late. We look at two variables―the percentage of people in delinquency and the percentage of debt in delinquency―from the first quarter of 1999 through the first quarter of 2024, a 25-year period, for those ages 20 to 64. In addition, we divide U.S. ZIP codes into deciles based on per capita aggregate gross income in 2019, derived from IRS individual income tax data. To better understand the broadness of the surge in credit card delinquency, we display data for the U.S., the Federal Reserve‘s Eighth District, the richest 10% of ZIP codes and the poorest 10% of ZIP codes.