Consumers paying more credit card bills on time
Credit card delinquency rates lowest in eight years
Not since 2002 have Americans been so good about paying their credit card bills on time.
Credit card delinquencies (late payments) are at the lowest rate in eight years, indicating a "modest improvement" in the struggling economy, according to the American Bankers Association's Consumer Credit Delinquency Bulletin.
"It's clear that consumer balance sheets are improving. People are borrowing less, saving more and building wealth. These are all positive signs," said ABA Chief Economist James Chessen, in a press release.
Credit card delinquencies fell nearly half a percent in the first quarter of 2010 to 3.88 percent from 4.39 percent from the fourth quarter of 2009, five basis points lower than the 15-year average for delinquencies from the fourth quarter of 2009 to the first quarter of 2010.
In fact, delinquency rates generally fell across the board in closed-end (installment) and open-end (line of credit) loan accounts, according to the ABA.
- Home equity loan delinquency dropped to 4.12 percent from 4.32.
- Home equity lines of credit went down to 1.81 percent from 2.04.
- Direct auto-loan delinquency settled at 1.79 percent from 1.94, while indirect auto-loan delinquency came down to 3.02 percent from 3.15.
- Personal loan delinquency fell to 3.61 percent from 3.63.
- Property improvement loan delinquencies sank to 1.40 percent from 1.63.
"This is the first inkling that stability is taking hold in the housing market, but the pace of recovery will still be long and drawn out," says Chessen.
Only three areas showed an increase in delinquencies in the first quarter of 2010. They were marine loans, mobile home loans and RV loans.
Borrowers who are having problems paying their debts on time shouldn't ignore the problem. The ABA recommends contacting creditors, working out a solution if possible, not taking on additional debt and contacting a nonprofit credit counselor.
- Late payments on cards worsen as balances rise, NY Fed says – Growing card balances are weighing heavier on consumers' budgets, New York Fed report shows, but problems remain low historically ...
- Fed: Card balances rose by $5.1 billion in December – Card balances rose to a new all-time high in December, according to the Federal Reserve ...
- San Antonio tops list of cities with heaviest card debt burden – San Antonio residents would take the longest time to pay off credit card debt relative to income compared to other major U.S. cities, a CreditCards.com analysis found. By contrast, San Francisco and Minneapolis residents would take the shortest ...