Credit Card and Personal Loan Balances Trend Record Highs

Advertiser Disclosure

Last updated on January 29th, 2024

The new 2023 report from TransUnion brings to light the current trends among U.S. consumer balances among credit cards, personal loans, and bank cards. Here’s what you need to know about the new reporting.

Record High Credit Card and Personal Loan Balances

Credit card and personal loan balances have now reached record highs or near-record highs. The recent release of the Q1 2023 Quarterly Credit Industry Insights Report (CIIR) from TransUnion has provided deep insight into the state of the consumer’s current relationship with credit cards, personal loans, and more. To no surprise, inflation and high-interest rates have driven consumers to skyrocket their balances to make ends meet by turning to credit to support household budgets.

Credit Card Trends

Credit card balances remain at a record high of $917 billion. While balances have been slightly down by 1.5%, quarter-after-quarter, the overall year-over-year (YoY) has increased by almost 20%. Credit card balances typically trend down during the first quarter due to tax season. During this season consumers receive their tax refund and use it to pay down existing credit card debt but overall remains high in comparison to the prior year.

Unsecured Personal Loan Trends

Similarly, unsecured personal loan balances have also reached a high point in Q1. The balances for unsecured personal loans have reached a high of $225 billion. To break it down further, that is an increase of 26.3% year-over-year. However, the results of Q1 are the second consecutive quarter that shows a slowdown in year-over-year growth rates.

This could mean lenders are showing strict analysis while making underwriting decisions. The average unsecured personal loan balances since 2005 are $11,281. Credit-wise, subprime consumers resulted in the highest increase in balances by 40%. Followed by super prime at 34%. And coming in at the lowest balances is the super prime consumers with increases just under 20%.

Bankcard Trends

Furthermore, bankcard balances were also analyzed at a record high of $917 billion, a 19.2% YoY growth. Similar to credit card balance trends, bankcards also experience a seasonal dip and Q1 is the second consecutive quarter to show a slight balance decrease by 1.5% (quarter-over-quarter).

The report also found subprime share consumers with a balance declined by 10.2% from 10.9% the previous quarter. The balance for super prime consumers increased to 41.8%, up from 40.6% in the former quarter. The share of balances for Millennials has increased up to 28.6% in Q1 2023, from 26.5% in 2022.

Credit Lines on the Rise

Balances are not the only numbers on the rise, so are credit lines. In Q1 2023, credit lines reached $4.4 trillion with a 9.7% increase. The growth was observed among all consumers, but 60% of the increase was driven by super-prime borrowers.

Related Article: Ultimate Guide to Bilt Rent Day

Featured image by breeze393/Getty Images

Editorial Disclosure – The opinions expressed on's reviews, articles, and all other content on or relating to the website are solely those of the content’s author(s). These opinions do not reflect those of any card issuer or financial institution, and editorial content on our site has not been reviewed or approved by these entities unless noted otherwise. Further, lists credit card offers that are frequently updated with information believed to be accurate to the best of our team's knowledge. However, please review the information provided directly by the credit card issuer or related financial institution for full details.

About: Jeannyn Gomez
Jeannyn Gomez

Jeannyn is the Content Management Assistant for In addition to serving on all aspects of social media and spreading the word on expert credit and personal finance advice, Jeannyn finds herself on quests for humor, supernatural phenomena, and conspiracy theories for fun.

Advertiser Disclosure

BestCards is an independent, Florida-based credit card comparison platform. Many of the card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which BestCards receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). BestCards does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.