Credit card companies like Southwest are seeing their margins shrink as they grapple with surging credit card debt.
But it’s not just their cardholders who are being squeezed.
In many cases, they’re paying back their cardholder debt with interest.
“They are not able to pay back the debt at the interest rate they originally charged,” says John O’Brien, vice president of business development at Southwest, one of the largest credit card issuers in the US.
“That is a real problem.”
The average Southwest cardholder paid off his or her credit card balance in 2015-16, with annual repayments averaging $3,800.
This compares with $2,800 in 2015, $1,700 in 2014 and $1.4 million in 2013.
But credit card delinquencies are on the rise again, with credit card account holders reporting 3.5 million outstanding charges last year.
That’s up more than 50 per cent on 2014 and up more from 1.6 million in 2011.
Credit card delinquency has been rising since 2008.
This is a trend that is likely to continue as credit card balances continue to increase, says O’Neill.
According to a CreditCards.com survey of about 5,000 US credit cardholders, more than 60 per cent of the respondents said they had lost money on their cards in the past year, and many of those people are now paying back the money.
‘Not a fair game’For those who do manage to repay their cards, the process is complicated and can be challenging.
The process for repayment can vary from cardholder to cardholder.
One of the most common issues is finding the right balance on a credit card, with some cards offering higher interest rates and other cards offering lower rates.
Southwest, the nation’s largest card issuer, offers a card with a “good credit” rating of 3.9, and the average interest rate on the card is 1.4 per cent, according to the survey.
When a cardholder signs up for the card, they must be able to make payments on time.
But it can be very difficult to balance a payment on time when you have to wait months for the credit card to show up in your account, O’Connor says.
In some cases, cards can be cancelled or changed.
For some cardholders the process can be even more difficult.
O’Brien says that, despite Southwest’s high credit rating, a large number of cardholders are unable to pay off their card because of unpaid balance.
So in a lot of cases, Southwest has decided to terminate their credit card agreements with the cardholder, and they’ll then need to start over from scratch.
To avoid paying back your card, cardholders must follow a number of steps.
They must take out a new card, which is known as a “bail-in” to avoid paying off the card for a period of time.
They must repay their balance by a certain date, or if they can’t, the credit reporting agencies will send them a letter that states that they can apply for a new credit card.
After a period, a new “bounty” credit card can be applied to the card’s account and used to pay down the balance.
But if the card issuer hasn’t paid back the balance in a timely manner, it can cause the account to become “suspended” until the balance is paid.
There are also a number known as “sustained” or “re-invested” cardholders.
These people can be charged interest on their balance, which can add up quickly.
All of this adds up to paying back more than you have on the account, and that can be a problem for cardholders in the process of making payments.
If you’re struggling to balance your credit card at the moment, it’s important to know that there are other options available, says Mr O’Neil.
It’s not a fair-gameThe average annual credit cardholder payoff rate in the United States is 6.8 per cent.
That’s lower than the national average of 7.9 per cent and less than the average annual payback rate in Australia of 10.2 per cent for those in a single household.
With this much debt piling up, credit card payments have to be made from somewhere.
Many cardholders have found that paying their bills on time is easier than they thought.
While the interest rates are not the best, the interest they’re offering is good enough to pay the bills on the credit cards.
Most of the time, the rate offered by a credit cards company is the best deal you’ll get.
“We are paying down the debt on our cards with a great rate, and you are not paying it back on time, but it is very well managed,” says Ollie McDonough, Southwest cardmember since 2005.