The number of cards in circulation grew by 13% between January 2017 and the same month in 2018, while the balance of debt on credit cards increased by 14% in the same period.

According to a quarterly study on credit and debit cards for 2018, with a cut off point of January 31, on average each person has two credit cards and three debit cards.

The Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC) report adds that “… credit cards went from 1,326,754 cards in July 2010 to 2,744,145 in January 2018 (an increase of 107%) and with respect to debit cards, a total of 4,577,955 were recorded in July 2010 and for January 2018 the figure is 6,163,760 (a 35% increase).”

“… There was an increase in the balance of debt of ¢155 billion (14.4%), with respect to the previous year, for a total of ¢1. 233,037 million (or 1.2 billion), which represents around 3.79% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).”

“… Likewise, it was determined that defaults from 1 to 90 days reached 6.27% and 4.74% for defaults of more than 90 days. With regard to interest rates, 71% of plastic cards in circulation have an interest rate in colones that ranges between 40% and 50%.”

See full study. (In Spanish)

Source (in Spanish): Central American Data