06/10/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Rising Credit Card Losses Are Next Challenge For Banks

It used to be easy to guess how many Americans would have problems paying their credit card bills. Banks just looked at unemployment: Fewer jobs meant more trouble ahead.

The unemployment rate has long mirrored banks' loss rates on card balances. But Eddie Ward, 32 and jobless, may be one more reason that rule of thumb no longer holds. For many lenders, losses are now outpacing layoffs.

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