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March 8, 2022

On the web

Consumer Credit Grows in January at Slowest Pace in a Year


“The amount of credit consumers used in January grew by a scant $6.8 billion — the smallest increase in a year — signaling that households sharply reduced borrowing early in 2022…The big slowdown in credit stems from a variety of factors: Record coronavirus cases, rising prices, high inflation, limited availability of new cars and households taking a breather after spending big during the holiday season.”

February 3, 2022

On the web

U.S. Has More Credit Cards Than Ever as Issuance Surged in 2021


“U.S. lenders issued more credit cards than ever last year, with a growing share of them going to consumers with lower credit scores. A record 196 million Americans held cards at the end of 2021, according to a report by credit-data agency TransUnion. In the third quarter, the latest for which detailed numbers are available, the number of new cards issued hit an all-time high of 20.1 million, it said. Some 9 million of them went to so-called non-prime borrowers — those with poor or fair credit.”

January 26, 2022

On the web

Experian to Allow Consumers to Create Their Own Credit Reports

Wall Street Journal

“Consumers will soon be able to create their own credit reports. Experian PLC, one of the largest credit-reporting firms in the U.S., this week will start allowing consumers who don’t have credit reports to create them from scratch, the company told The Wall Street Journal.”

January 10, 2022

On the web

Consumer Borrowing Picks up in November but Credit Cards Remain Out-of-favor


“U.S. consumer borrowing accelerated in November but consumers continued to avoid using their credit cards, according to Federal Reserve data released Friday. Total consumer credit increased $15.3 billion in November, 1.3% more than in October. That’s an annual growth rate of 4.4%, Economists had been expecting a $9 billion gain, according to the Wall Street Journal forecast. What happened: Revolving credit, like credit cards, fell a slight 1% in November after 6.7% decline in the prior month. This is the eighth decline in the past nine months.”

December 20, 2021

On the web

Equifax to Add More ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ Plans to Credit Reports

Wall Street Journal

“A popular kind of “buy now, pay later” plan is coming to credit reports. Early next year, Equifax Inc. will begin recording installment plans that allow shoppers to make four biweekly payments instead of covering the full cost at checkout. The move is meant to give lenders a fuller picture of people’s financial commitments, including how much they owe on these plans.”

December 7, 2021

On the wires

American Express Expands Partnership With Nova Credit to Help Extend Credit to More Newcomers to the U.S.

“American Express (NYSE: AXP) announced today, in partnership with Nova Credit , that it has expanded credit access to people from Brazil, Dominican Republic, Kenya and Nigeria who have moved to the United States. The growth of this first-of-its-kind digital capability enables newcomers from nine countries to use their international credit history to quickly and easily apply for personal American Express® Cards and begin building U.S. credit history, if approved.”

December 2, 2021

On the wires

Marqeta Partners With First National Bank of Omaha to Expand Ecosystem of Credit Partners

Marqeta (NASDAQ: MQ), the global modern card issuing platform, today announced a partnership with First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO), expanding its ecosystem of partners that enable its customers to launch modern credit card programs. Consumer demand for credit cards has increased substantially this year, compared to during the height of the pandemic, with banks issuing 42 percent more credit cards to consumers in the first six months of 2021, compared to 2020, according to credit-reporting firm Equifax, Inc . Despite this increased demand, credit card technology has largely remained unchanged in decades thanks to reliance on legacy technology that is difficult to upgrade.”

November 12, 2021

On the wires

Flexbase Announces First-Ever Credit Card for Construction Industry

Flexbase , the automated payment platform for contractors and the construction industry that delivers faster and more efficient payments, today announced the first-ever credit card specifically for construction companies, targeting small- and mid-sized businesses (SMBs). Flexbase Card is available immediately nationwide, offering up to 60 days interest-free credit and numerous other benefits.”

October 8, 2021

On the web

U.S. Consumer Credit Grows in August at the Smallest Rate in Seven Months


“Revolving credit, like credit cards, rose at a 4% rate in August after a 7% increase  in the prior month. This is down from a 22% jump in July.  Non-revolving credit, typically auto and student loans, rose at a 4.1% rate for the second straight month. This category of credit is ordinarily much less volatile but has moderated, after five months of growth readings above 6% rate earlier this year, due to the weak auto sales. The data does not include mortgage loans, which is the largest category of household debt.”

August 5, 2021

On the wires

CredEvolv Launches Platform To Bridge Gaps In Credit Equity

“Launching today, fin-tech platform CredEvolv revolutionizes the path to achieving and maintaining good credit, offering millions of consumers a path to financial stability. CredEvolv’s mission is to turn “no” in to “not yet” by breaking down the barriers to credit equity and guiding consumers seeking improved credit on a journey to sustainable, lifelong credit well-being.”

July 29, 2021

On the wires

CFPB Finds Credit Applications Have Mostly Recovered to Pre-Pandemic Levels | Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

“The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today published an issue brief showing that consumer applications for auto loans, new mortgages and revolving credit cards had mostly returned to pre-pandemic levels by May 2021. Prime and near-prime consumers are driving this recovery as applications remain down from borrowers with subprime and deep subprime for all types of credit and, for borrowers with superprime credit scores, applications are down for all types of credit but mortgages.”

June 4, 2021

On the web

On the wires

Citi and AT&T Renew Long-Standing Credit Card Collaboration

“Citi and AT&T today announced a multi-year renewal to extend their consumer co-brand credit card portfolio in the U.S. The agreement will continue to provide innovative credit card products, such as the AT&T Access Card, to drive enhanced customer engagement and loyalty and explore additional consumer offerings.”

June 2, 2021

On the wires

Huntington Launches Standby Cash(SM) To Give Eligible Customers An Instant Line Of Credit For Unexpected Expenses

“Planning for the unexpected just got easier with Huntington’s (Nasdaq: HBAN ) first digital-only product, Standby Cash. True to its commitment to looking out for people, Huntington has launched Standby Cash, a line of credit giving eligible customers immediate access up to $1,000 with no interest or fees if customers sign up for automatic payments (otherwise, a 1% monthly interest charge, 12% APR, applies to outstanding balances). Qualification is based primarily on how customers manage their checking account, not on customers’ credit reports.”

May 24, 2021

On the web

Big Banks Look for Post-pandemic Rebound of Credit Card Revenue


“Big U.S. banks are prepared for credit-card balances to start ticking up again this year as pandemic restrictions ease and stimulus checks stop arriving, setting up the industry for a bump in one of its most profitable businesses. Lenders, including Capital One, Citigroup and JPMorgan, have been sending out more promotions to enroll new customers and encourage borrowers to spend, said Andrew Davidson of marketing-tracker Mintel Comperemedia. Some 260 million offers were sent in March, the firm estimates.”

May 20, 2021

On the web

After Credit Cards, Which Debt Should You Pay?

Wall Street Journal

“Stimulus money, mortgage forbearance and the pause in federal student loans have helped Americans pay down high-interest credit-card debt . Now, some are wondering what is the smartest debt to pay off next. Americans paid off $82.9 billion of credit-card debt in 2020, according to an analysis of TransUnion and Federal Reserve data by WalletHub.com, a consumer-finance website. In the first quarter of 2021, credit-card balances dropped by $49 billion, the second-largest quarterly decline since 1999, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Meanwhile, more than 20 million people still have student loans in forbearance.”

Credit Scores ‘May Lose Some Power’ After Covid, Fed Warns


“The Federal Reserve Bank of New York warned that credit scores — the all-powerful number that can determine if a consumer is able to qualify for a loan, rent a home or even buy car insurance — might have gotten less reliable during the coronavirus pandemic. Scores for homeowners who took advantage of payment relief on their mortgages actually rose an average of 14 points over the course of the pandemic, according to a new analysis by the New York Fed. That was a bigger jump than the seven-point increase seen among borrowers that didn’t take forbearance on their loans.”

May 17, 2021

On the wires

Experian and Temenos Expand Integration to Help Clients Make Real-Time Credit Offers to Consumers

“To accelerate the automation decisioning process and provide a seamless way for lenders to extend credit, Experian and Temenos today announced the integration of PowerCurve® decisioning solutions into Temenos Infinity, the leading omnichannel digital banking product. Temenos Infinity covers digital engagement from acquisition to account servicing through to long-term retention, supporting multiple stages of growth. The joint offering includes preconfigured solutions for lenders that prefer standard, “out-of-the-box” integrations to support decision-driven business processes.”

May 13, 2021

On the web

Household Debt and Credit Report – Household Debt Edges Higher, but Credit Card Balances Fall

Federal Reserve Bank of New York

“According to the latest Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit, total household debt rose by $85 billion (0.6 percent) to reach $14.64 trillion in the first quarter of 2021. Mortgage balances—the largest component of household debt—rose by $117 billion, while auto and student loan balances increased by $8 billion and $29 billion, respectively. Credit card balances declined by $49 billion—the second largest quarterly decline in the history of the series (which dates back to 1999). Credit card balances are $157 billion lower than they had been at the end of 2019, consistent with both paydowns among borrowers and constrained consumption opportunities.”

April 9, 2021

On the web

U.S. Consumer Credit Surges by the Most Since Late 2017


“U.S. consumer borrowing surged in February by the most since late 2017 as a broader re-opening of the economy from pandemic restrictions helped spark an increase in credit-card balances. Total credit jumped $27.6 billion from the prior month, the largest gain since November 2017, after a revised $94 million January gain, Federal Reserve figures showed Wednesday. On an annualized basis, borrowing rose 7.9% in February. The gain in February credit exceeded all estimates in a Bloomberg survey of economists. Revolving credit climbed $8.1 billion, the most since December 2019 and only the second advance in a year. Non-revolving credit, which includes auto and school loans, rose $19.5 billion, the biggest increase since June.”

March 8, 2021

On the web

Credit Card Borrowing Falls to Lowest in Level in 4 Years


“Borrowing by Americans fell in January for the first time in five months, as the use of credit cards fell to the lowest level in four years, offsetting gains in auto loans and student loans. The Federal Reserve reported Friday that consumer borrowing fell by $1.3 billion in January, the first setback since a $9 billion decline in August. The weakness came from a $9.9 billion decline in borrowing in the category that covers credit cards. It marked the fourth straight decline in that category and was the biggest drop since a $10.8 billion fall in August. It pushed credit card activity down to the lowest level since January 2017.”

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