Credit cards have increased sharply in popularity, with many consumers charging like the Light Brigade. As gas stations, grocery stores and a greater variety of merchants accept payment by plastic, issuers will continue to report solid earnings.
Although there has been an increase in credit card delinquency, many companies are acting quickly to cut their losses. Simultaneously, consumer and commercial lending is on the rise, and companies in these areas should benefit from an increase in the number of cash-poor borrowers with less-than-perfect credit ratings. These companies' stocks have shown high growth recently and may have good prospects for the next several years.