The credit card charge off rates are astounding. A charge off is when the company believes they the card holder has abandoned the debt and won't pay it off.
Bank of America said write-offs rose to 14.54 percent, the highest among the six U.S. lenders reporting today. That compares with 13.81 percent in July, according to a federal filing by the Charlotte, North Carolina-based company.
Citigroup’s soured loans rose to 12.14 percent last month, from 10.03 percent, while JPMorgan said write-offs advanced to 8.73 percent from 7.92 percent in July.
This means that of all the people who have a credit card at Bank of America, 14.5% of them can't pay off the card to the point the account is labeled as bad debt. Think about it. Firstly you must qualify to even get a credit card and of those people who actually qualified, a little more than 1 in 7 cannot make payments on the card anymore.
Discover Financial Services, the credit-card company that took $1.2 billion from the Treasury Department’s rescue fund, said charge-offs rose to 9.16 percent from 8.43 percent in July. The Riverwoods, Illinois-based lender is scheduled to report third-quarter results on Thursday.
Capital One Financial Corp., the third-biggest issuer of Visa Inc. credit cards, said charge-offs improved to 9.32 percent in August, from 9.83 percent.
Except for Capital One, delinquencies, which are credit cards past due but not declared bad debt, have dropped.
But while these numbers are being blamed on unemployment, one must wonder how much of this is these financial institutions' fault?
In other words, when someone gets into trouble, instead of helping them, they jack up the interest rates to 24%, 26%, 30%, plus load up fees.
When facing a bill like that, who is not tempted to say screw it and just not try to make any more payments? Especially when one is trying to eat, keep a roof over their head?