News & Resources

Consumers piling up credit card debt once again

Jul 18, 2013 Philip Burgess

After the financial crisis, consumers shied away from credit card debt as they attempted to better their personal financial situations.

However, that has changed, as U.S. News & World Report said by the end of this year Americans are expected to add around $47 billion in new credit card debt on top of the $82 billion from 2011 and 2012.

"It appears that borrowers are beginning to shed the frugal habits that helped them deleverage to the tune of more than a trillion dollars since 2008," said Andrew Jennings, chief analytics officer at FICO.

When that much debt is added, some consumers are bound to get into trouble. As a result, many Americans could find that their credit scores decline.

Should this occur, these consumers could struggle to obtain traditional forms of financing, which is where short term lenders may prove helpful. If too many Americans find themselves with damaged consumer credit scores, demand for short term lending could surge.

Another fallout from using credit cards more is an increased risk of identity theft. Short term lenders should be one of the first lines of defense against this type of crime, as identity thieves often attempt to open new lines of credit under false names. These financial institutions should ensure they have adequate ID verification solutions in place to be sure applicants are who they say they are.