Target credit card delinquencies rise
Credit card write-offs for Target Corp. increased from 6.8 percent to 8.1 percent from February to March, reports Bloomberg.com. According to the article, “the charge-offs are at the highest level since the implementation of new bankruptcy laws more than two years ago.”
Michael Exstein, an analyst with Credit Suisse Group in New York says that 30-day delinquencies on Target credit cards haven’t been this high since 2001. The weakened consumer environment is being blamed for late and non-payment, including job losses and the mortgage crisis.
To lighten its debt load, Target is in talks with JPMorgan Chase & Co to sell approximately half of its credit card loans for $4 billion, according to Bloomberg.com. Meanwhile, fourth-quarter revenue for Target’s credit card portfolio jumped 21 percent to $532 million.
“Investors should continue to keep a close eye on credit metrics given the heightened sensitivity from a weakening consumer environment and the significant contribution of Target’s credit card business to total company profits,” says Exstein.