The study, conducted by CardHub, found that America’s consumers acquired close to $48 billion in new credit card debt in 2011, a 424 percent increase from 2010 and a 577 percent increase from 2009. Though total outstanding consumer credit rose roughly $4 billion, this number was offset by the number of consumer credit defaults, which totaled $44.2 billion, Business Review USA reports.
“First-quarter pay-downs have become less significant and the amount of new debt added in each subsequent quarter has grown compared to its respective counterparts in the previous two years,” the report read, according to Business Review USA.
Senior financial analyst Greg McBride of Bankrate.com said that credit card issuers have been aggressively writing off bad debt in 2009 and 2012.
“That’s why over the last year or so they’ve been out actively seeking to grow their business,” McBride said, Business Review USA reports.
Credit card issuers have sought to expand their businesses through online and mobile payment endeavors. Visa, the world’s largest credit card processor, is preparing to release its V.me – a “digital wallet” – that allows customers to pay for online purchases using a username and password rather than entering credit card information. Visa said that the service may also be integrated into retail stores in the future, Business Review USA reports.