Consumers used nearly 80% of their $29 billion in maturing CDs to pay down credit card balances in the first half of 2010.
The finding is based on analysis from Market Rates Insight, which showed a ten-year statistical analysis of the linear relationship between CD balances and credit card balances. The analysis showed that 79% of the decrease in credit card balances is explained by, and attributed to, the reduction in CD balances.
Citing separate information from TransUnion, MRI said the decreases in credit card balances over the last five consecutive quarters showed that consumers continue to pay down their credit cards in response to economic uncertainty. Both the 90-day and 120-day nonpayment rates showed the largest decreases on a quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year basis since the recession began at the end of 2007.
"Clearly, we are witnessing a new behavioral phenomena as a result of the current economic conditions" said Dan Geller, executive vice president at MRI. "Some consumers are not rolling over maturing CDs and using the money to pay off credit cards to reduce their high-interest payments, and to keep their credit in good standing as insurance for a rainy day."