The credit market has tightened in recent years thanks to the downturn in the economy and fewer people having a steady income to rely on. As a result many have been unable to pay off debt and find themselves at the mercy of debt collectors.
However, according to a report from the Associated Press, harsher standards by the nations top credit card companies - American Express, Capital One, Bank of America, Discover, Citi and JP Morgan Chase - have meant the number of defaults is lower than in previous years. In some cases this has meant that more people have relied on alternative consumer credit data
to borrow money. "One reason behind the improvement is that those card holders who defaulted, considered among the riskiest consumers to lend to, are now unable to get cards with large credit limits," The AP reported. One of the biggest credit card firms, Citi, reported that the number of defaults stood at a rate of 7.85 percent, down from 7.89 percent in March.