The 2021 Credit Card Data Book Part One: Internal Dynamics


Mercator Advisory Group updates annual Credit Card Data Book with projections through 2023 in part one of two.

Author: Brian Riley
Published on: March 30, 2021

Credit card industry greatly impacted by COVID, but the worst seems to have been avoided.

Unlike 2019, which was a banner year for many credit card issuers, 2020 proved to be far more tumultuous. COVID-19 caused widespread disruptions, economic uncertainty, and a steep rise in unemployment. Facing economic uncertainty, consumers largely reigned in their credit usage, causing revolving debt volumes to drop. Despite the potential for an economic disaster, however, the credit card industry remains largely stable, with delinquencies down across all loan types. According to Mercator Advisory Group’s new report, The 2021 Credit Card Data Book Part One: Internal Dynamics, 2021 will likely end with a manageable rise in charge-offs.

“Though the credit cycle risk indicators are artificially low and credit use has dropped considerably, current trends make it unlikely that a tsunami of delinquencies and charge-offs will crash over the credit industry in 2021,” comments Brian Riley, Director, Credit Advisory Service, at Mercator Advisory Group, and co-author of this research report. “We will examine what these trends are in the second part of this credit card data report and analyze what they mean for credit card profitability, consumer interest in opening new credit cards, and lender attitudes on credit policy standards.”

This document contains 26 pages and 16 exhibits.

Companies and other organizations mentioned in this research report include: ACI Worldwide, Bank of America, Chase, Citi, Federal Reserve System, and FICO.

Highlights of the research report include:

  • Key industry metrics to watch in 2021
  • Decline in revolving debt
  • Drop in average credit card debt
  • Disruptions to the normal aging process
  • Trillions of dollars in contingent credit card liability



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