Credit Card Debt Still Shrinking in Areas Struggling to Recover From Recession U.S. Credit Card Debt Roughly Flat Compared to a Year Ago; Varies by Geography

ATLANTA, Sept. 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- America's total consumer credit card debt continued to shrink in metro areas recovering more slowly from the economic crisis. Metro areas including Detroit, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Sacramento, Calif., posted a larger than 1 percent decline in overall credit card debt in August, compared to the same period a year ago, according to data released by Equifax. The report examines credit card data for the top 25 metro areas.

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For the country as a whole, credit card debt was roughly flat, increasing only .02 percent from the same period a year ago. In some metro areas, such as Houston and Washington, the total credit card debt increased.

"The differences between the metro areas illustrate the uneven nature of the economic recovery," said Trey Loughran, president of the Personal Solutions unit at Equifax. "In places where the housing bust was the worst, such as Florida, California and Nevada, and in places like Detroit and Ohio where the recession was particularly deep because of a dependence on manufacturing, consumers are continuing to be prudent about using credit. In other pockets of the country, consumers are feeling a bit more confident to take on new debt."

Americans have been using credit cards much less since the 2008 financial crisis. Total consumer credit card debt in August 2012 was $585.3 billion, down 22 percent from the peak in October 2008. However, in the past year, credit card debt numbers have begun to level off.

"We are seeing the trend of the 'disciplined consumer,'" Loughran said. "We don't know whether this is a long-term change yet, but generally speaking, Americans today continue to be prudent about credit."





TOTAL U.S. CREDIT CARD DEBT




Top 25 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs)

August 2011

August 2012

% Change

1

New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island

$49,442,173,239

$49,662,412,350

0.45%

2

Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County CA

$34,833,800,762

$34,242,965,911

-1.70%

3

Chicago-Gary-Kenosha IL-IN-WI CMSA

$20,574,073,904

$20,567,107,096

-0.03%

4

Washington-Baltimore DC-MD-VA-WV CMSA

$21,592,413,504

$21,840,085,380

1.15%

5

San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose CA CMSA

$17,566,454,593

$17,430,924,540

-0.77%

6

Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City PA-NJ-DE-MD CMSA

$13,875,885,160

$13,974,775,977

0.71%

7

Dallas-Fort Worth TX CMSA

$12,619,992,738

$12,720,359,952

0.80%

8

Boston-Worcester-Lawrence MA-NH-ME-CT CMSA

$13,550,202,100

$13,552,708,149

0.02%

9

Houston-Galveston-Brazoria TX CMSA

$10,778,268,050

$10,980,802,853

1.88%

10

Detroit-Ann Arbor-Flint MI CMSA

$9,968,016,624

$9,788,158,527

-1.80%

11

Atlanta GA MSA

$10,540,205,068

$10,457,086,110

-0.79%

12

Miami-Fort Lauderdale FL CMSA

$8,550,582,875

$8,470,040,230

-0.94%

13

Phoenix-Mesa AZ MSA

$7,905,085,696

$7,855,967,285

-0.62%

14

Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton WA CMSA

$9,705,738,167

$9,729,270,702

0.24%

15

Minneapolis-St. Paul MN-WI MSA

$7,167,716,842

$7,180,615,325

0.18%

16

San Diego CA MSA

$7,038,077,401

$7,003,073,315

-0.50%

17

Denver-Boulder-Greeley CO CMSA

$7,077,677,725

$7,121,861,173

0.62%

18

Cleveland-Akron OH CMSA

$5,657,430,909

$5,618,364,154

-0.69%

19

Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater FL MSA

$5,771,510,185

$5,730,977,616

-0.70%

20

St. Louis MO-IL MSA

$5,507,278,872

$5,521,310,374

0.25%

21

Portland-Salem OR-WA CMSA

$5,175,138,968

$5,184,193,509

0.17%

22

Pittsburgh PA MSA

$4,704,224,738

$4,724,413,343

0.43%

23

Las Vegas NV-AZ MSA

$3,761,536,021

$3,690,848,218

-1.88%

24

Sacramento-Yolo CA CMSA

$4,351,550,734

$4,292,273,885

-1.36%

25

Orlando FL MSA

$4,053,579,121

$4,021,282,364

-0.80%






About Equifax

Equifax Personal Solutions empowers consumers with the confidence and control to be their financial best. Find out more about Equifax's innovative suite of credit monitoring and identity protection products at www.equifax.com. Get smart information on everything from credit to retirement, all in one place at the Equifax Finance Blog, blog.equifax.com.

Equifax is a global leader in consumer and commercial information solutions, providing businesses of all sizes and consumers with information they can trust. We organize and assimilate data on more than 500 million consumers and 81 million businesses worldwide, and use advanced analytics and proprietary technology to create and deliver customized insights that enrich both the performance of businesses and the lives of consumers.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Equifax operates or has investments in 18 countries and is a member of Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500® Index. Its common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol EFX. For more information, please visit www.equifax.com

SOURCE Equifax



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