Need for debt counseling could increase as U.S. credit card customers lose some caution

Credit card delinquencies could rise The demand for credit among American consumers is heading upwards, according to a FICO study released on Wednesday, but this could cause an uptick in credit card delinquencies going forward.

Bankers surveyed by the research firm generally agreed that the combination of the slowly improvingeconomy and the effect of soon-to-be-implemented federal regulations would cause them to place a higher priority on risk management in the future. They also expect interest rates to either stay the same or increase.

Additionally, well over half of bankers expected to see delinquencies rise in the near future across most categories of consumer loan. Fewer than 60 percent said that credit card delinquencies would move upward soon, and even more were pessimistic about the future return rates of small business loans.

Experts say that this pending spike in consumers facing financial trouble could provide the consumer credit counseling industry with a corresponding leap in potential customers, as Americans look to consolidate debt and escape the worst effects of the economic downturn.