Credit Card Usage Reaches Record High;
Delinquency Rates Remain in Check


With more than 416 million credit cards and nearly 175 million consumers with access to them, credit card usage continued its upward trajectory in Q1 2018. Credit cards are still performing relatively well despite the continued rise in serious delinquency rates.


“Though delinquency rates are certainly rising, there are several reasons we don’t believe this to be worrisome at this juncture. First, credit card issuers have been relatively conservative over the last five quarters, issuing more credit to lower risk consumers compared to higher risk consumers. Second, the credit they’re extending to consumers in most risk tiers generally includes lower credit limits. Finally, we believe it’s a positive sign for the economy that more consumers have access to credit and that delinquency rates, while growing, are doing so at a slow pace and remain below levels observed post-recession.”

-Paul Siegfried, Senior Vice President and card and payments business leader at TransUnion

TransUnion’s Industry Insights report found that serious credit card delinquency rates per borrower (90+ DPD) increased in Q1 2018 to 1.78%, up from 1.69% in Q1 2017. The delinquency rate is now nearly equal to the 1.77% mark observed 6 years prior in Q1 2012, though it remains below the 10-year average of 1.91%.

Credit Card Borrower-Level Delinquency Rate (90+ DPD)

Credit Card Average Debt Per Borrower

Number of Credit Cards

Consumers with Access to a Credit Card