Here is a great article I found on ETF Daily News that talks a lot about credit card debt. The article was originally published b the author here. I would like to believe that the consumer is getting financially smarter but he makes a pretty persuasive case that debt write offs is a much larger force in driving the drop in credit card balances than individuals paying down their debt. I guess the saying you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink applies to American consumer attitude toward paying down credit card debt.
I am fascinated with America’s love affair with credit card debt and Rick has collected a lot more data on credit card usage than me. Some of the credit card data comes from private sources. I do not have a problem with the private sources but I think we could elevate credit card to a higher visibility level if the Federal Reserve defined what actually constitutes the average credit card balance. The problem is calculating the number of credit card holders. For this reason I found my attempts to calculate the average credit card debt level using the Federal Reserve data did not confirm what the private sector was reporting.