It looks as if Chase consumers are making better credit decisions
, as the company announced this week that customer defaults dropped last month, BusinessWeek reports.
Furthermore, rates for JPMorgan Chase's credit card division are close to pre-recession levels. Specifically, Chase wrote off 4.02 percent of annualized balances last month, down from 4.18 percent in October and 7.16 percent year-over-year. Because of the sharp drop, the Richmond Times-Dispatch predicts that banks may "pick up their pace" of opening new accounts in 2012. This means potential customers with mid-level credit scores - i.e. those who have typically been denied credit by more stringent banks - may find it easier to obtain cards in the coming year. Despite rates being at historic lows, late payments still rose last month, as 2.55 percent of balances were late by 30 days or more. However, that figure is still significantly lower than last November's 3.68 percent, BusinessWeek adds. The Times-Dispatch points out that other companies, including American Express and Discover, also reported default rates below traditional levels.