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Credit Card History

The origination of credit cards in the United States occurred in the 1930's and became widespread in the 1950's. In 1950 Diners Club became the first to issue a credit card that could be used in various locations. Early credit cards required payment in full in less than 90 days. In 1951 Franklin National Bank in New York introduced the first modern credit card to its customers. They extended the repayment period and attached and interest rate creating a new revenue stream. This concept quickly became popular as banks everywhere began issuing credit cards.

Today the use of credit cards is astounding- American credit card debt alone exceeds $550 billion (according to the November 1998 Federal Reserve Board statistics).

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