Out of the public credit-card market since late 1998, Household International is gearing up a card program, pending approval of a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, for the securitization of its Union Plus credit card line.

The Union Plus portfolio is currently funded through privately placed securitizations, market sources said.

For a debut public offering, the filing describes a senior subordinate structure with A-, B- and C-class notes, priced off the one-month Libor.

Union Plus, a multi-billion dollar portfolio that Household purchased from Bank of New York in April 1996, is co-branded with the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), and is issued to union members associated with the AFL-CIO.

"It's basically a lower yielding, lower loss portfolio of cards," said a source familiar with Household. "For some reason the chargeoffs are quite low on these cards."

Household's last public credit card transaction, which priced in 1998, was managed by Merrill Lynch. The $900 million deal priced out of Household's Affinity Credit Card Master Trust.

Earlier this year Household added Portland, Oregon-based Renaissance Holdings to its quiver of card portfolios. The $300 million transaction was said to mark Household's tread into the subprime credit-card sector, though the company also issues cards to "underserved borrowers" through Orchard Bank.

Similarly, Household also owns the Beneficial credit card line, which has traditionally catered to the mid-to-lower income strata borrowers.

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