Average US Credit Card Debt Per Borrower up in 3Q
News from ABC News:

Americans cranked up their use of credit cards in the third quarter, racking up more debt than a year ago, while also being less diligent about making payments on time, an analysis of consumer-credit data shows.

The average credit card debt per borrower in the U.S. grew 4.9 percent in the July-to-September period from a year earlier to $ 4,996, credit reporting agency TransUnion said Monday.

At the same time, the rate of credit card payments at least 90 days overdue hit 0.75 percent, up from 0.71 percent in the third quarter of last year, the firm said.

While higher, the late payment rate is rising from historically low levels. The lowest late payment rate on TransUnion records going back to the mid-1990s was 0.56 percent, set in the third quarter of 1994. More recently, it was at 0.60 percent in the second quarter of last year.

During the last recession, many Americans reined in spending in favor of paying off debt, particularly credit card balances. The housing downturn also prompted many homeowners to make paying their credit card accounts on time a priority at the expense of other financial obligations, such as their mortgage payments.

And there are no indications that trend has changed, even with the slight uptick in the late payment rate, said Ezra Becker, vice president at TransUnion’s financial services busine…………… continues on ABC News

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Online shoppers’ privacy must be protected
News from San Francisco Chronicle:

Should the privacy rights and protections made state law in 1971 still apply to credit card purchases in a digital age?

Under state law, a sales clerk may ask to see a driver’s license or other identification when a customer wants to pay with a credit card but will face up to a $ 1,000 fine if the information is recorded. There is an exception if an address is needed to deliver the good.

Apple, eHarmony and Ticketmaster claim in a lawsuit that the law, written before online shopping was even imagined, only applies to brick-and-mortar stores.

But why shouldn’t online shoppers have the same privacy protections? Should you really need to hand over your phone number, e-mail address and photo to use an intermediary like Square Wallet to pay for a Starbucks coffee?

If you buy an iPad or iPod, you pay plenty for a device that is worthless unless you give up personal information to activate it – this in a state where privacy is so highly valued that protections are written into the California Constitution.

The online retailers’ suit, heard before the state S…………… continues on San Francisco Chronicle

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