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Credit card delinquencies plummet from 2010 levels

Feb 22, 2011 Brian Bradley

In a sign that consumers are becoming more wary about their credit reports and their personal spending levels, the national credit card delinquency rate fell sharply between the fourth quarter of 2009 and the same time last year. The observation from TransUnion showed that credit card delinquency - a measure by which consumers of bank-issued credit cards are more than 90 days late on payments - dropped 32 percent to 0.82 percent overall. During that same time span, national credit card originations jumped by 19.1 percent, while the fourth quarter of 2010 marked the second straight quarter originations increased. That was the first time since late 2007 there has been growth in that segment. The increases were most notable in Kentucky, Nevada and Arizona, where originations jumped 41.1 percent, 34.3 percent and 29.8 percent, respectively. "The fourth quarter now marks the second time since the recession officially ended in the summer of 2009 that average consumer credit card balances have not declined. However, on a year-over-year basis, these balances still show declines," said Ezra Becker, vice president of research and consulting at TransUnion. By the end of the year, Nevada is forecast to retain the highest delinquency rate, 1.2 percent, while North Dakota will possesses the lowest at approximately 0.4 percent.