Home Info Newsroom CFPB Report Finds Declines in Credit Card Debt, New Applications and Increases in Digital Engagement in 2020

CFPB Report Finds Declines in Credit Card Debt, New Applications and Increases in Digital Engagement in 2020

Authored By: Lewis Wood on 10/1/2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released its fifth biennial report to Congress today on the consumer credit card market, finding that the market’s growth over the last few years reversed course in 2020. In reviewing the market for potential consumer harm, the report presents the latest research on consumer card use, cost, and availability. From a 2019 peak of $926 billion, credit card debt fell to $811 billion by the second quarter of 2020, the largest six-month decline on record, before reaching $825 billion by the end of the year.

In a shift from the previous U.S. economic crisis, credit card issuers last year mostly avoided clamping down on their existing customers’ borrowing limits, according to a new report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The release of today’s report reflects the CFPB’s ongoing work to ensure the adequacy of consumer protection and a transparent and competitive marketplace for all consumers, particularly the most vulnerable. The report notes several specific areas of CFPB concern—including issuer failure to report payment amounts to credit bureaus and issuer practices with respect to credit line decreases—that will be the subject of further work as the CFPB works to promote an equitable recovery. The CFPB also intends to increase its use of demographic data in its future research.

Read the 2021 Consumer Credit Card Market report to Congress.

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