Applications for new credit cards have fallen for the fourth quarter in a row as shoppers fear further interest rate hikes.  Consumers are instead choosing personal loans, including store finance with interest-free periods, in much greater numbers, a Veda Advantage credit research concludes.  Credit card applications fell 7.3 per cent in the January to March 2007 quarter compared with the same quarter in 2006, down 70,498 applications to 889,396, according to the Vega Advantage research.  The drop represents a 2.2 per cent decrease on the immediately preceding October to December quarter.  It is the fourth quarter in a row that credit card applications have fallen, down from the all-time high in the previous March quarter of 959,894 applications.  Veda Advantage’s information services general manager Erica Hughes forecast the two-year surge in new credit has ended.  Source:

BIIA Newsletter May – 2007 Issue