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Fewer Americans are delinquent on their bank cards

Summary

Consumers’ bank card delinquencies, already at historically low levels, dropped further in the first quarter of 2014. The American Bankers Association says it’s a sign that more people are using cards as transaction tools instead of debt instruments

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Consumers’ credit card delinquencies, already at historically low levels, dropped significantly in the first quarter of 2014, the American Bankers Association (ABA) said.

Bank card delinquencies fell from 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013 to 2.44 percent in the first quarter of 2014. That’s well below the 15-year average of 3.82 percent.

James Chessen, the association’s chief economist, says more consumers are paying off or paying down balances each month.  ABA’s quarterly Credit Card Market Monitor found that increasingly, credit card users are using their cards as a transactional tool rather than as a form of debt.

At the end of each quarter, the association surveys about 250 FDIC-insured banks to collect consumer loan delinquency data. The panel includes top consumer lenders in each state and smaller institutions sampled by consumer loan portfolio size.

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