When store employees offer a discount or other benefit for signing up for a store credit card in Louisiana, many consumers find the offer tempting. However, the delinquency rate on these store-branded cards has reached its highest point in seven years according to a report from Equifax, the credit reporting bureau. These store-affiliated credit cards have their highest rate of delinquencies since 2011, the bureau said. Approximately 4.65 percent of these accounts are at least 60 days overdue for a payment, an increase from 4.08, the rate of delinquency reported in March 2017.
The credit bureau said that there are a number of reasons that consumers may be behind on their credit card payments. In some cases, they may believe they no longer have to pay the bill if the retailer shuts its doors or declares bankruptcy. However, in these cases, there is almost always a creditor that runs the cards on behalf of the retailer; that lender is still reporting to credit bureaus, pursuing collections and otherwise maintaining ownership of the debt. In other cases, the improving economy has meant that more people are being approved for store credit cards, including some people who are simply unable to pay back the debt they have accrued.
Interest rates can be particularly overwhelming for store credit cards. The average interest rate for a store-branded credit card is approximately 25.5 percent, an increase of 1 percent over the previous six months. However, the average interest rate for a traditional credit card is 16.73 percent, almost 9 percent less than the store cards.
When people are facing an insurmountable debt burden, they may be looking for solutions to help them escape and find some relief. A bankruptcy lawyer might help people dealing with unrepayable debt look into Chapter 13 bankruptcy and create a program that can restructure or eliminate consumer debts.