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See What People Are Saying About... Next Flashpoint In Credit Crisis

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Credit-card delinquencies are likely to become the next flashpoint in the credit crisis, though the impact on the overall economy won't be as severe as the housing slump, analysts believe.

As the economy worsens and unemployment rises, more Americans are having trouble paying off their credit card balances. That has pushed up losses for credit card issuers, forcing them to tighten standards, which puts a further squeeze on cash-strapped consumers.

“After mortgages and home equity, credit cards are the next in line to feel the crunch,” says Marc DeCastro, an industry analyst with Financial Insights.

“Now with their home equities getting shut off, people are going to start augmenting their income with their credit cards," DeCastro says. "They are going hit their limits and once they hit their limits, then they are probably going to walk away from their credit cards.”

And that leads to our Fast Money Reader Poll. Is Marc DeCastro right? Are you carrying larger balance on your credit cards then you did 12 months ago?




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