Discover cardholders' delinquency rates dropped from 2.39 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011 to 2.22 percent during Q1 2012, according to The Wall Street Journal. What's more, delinquencies were down from 3.59 percent, year over year. The amount of money spent on cards rose 7 percent from Q4 2011 to $25.6 billion. Thus, it seems, cardholders used their cards more often but were also more effective at paying off debt, improving their consumer credit reports
, Debtmerica Relief explains. "Continued improvements in credit performance, solid organic growth in each of our lending products and strong volume growth across our networks were key drivers of this quarter's earnings," David Nelms, chairman and chief executive officer of Discover, told WSJ. Discover also increased its amount of personal and student loans, lending 9 percent more compared to March 2011, up to $56.3 billion. More encouraging was the fact that outstanding credit card loans were down 2 percent from the previous quarter. Because of the reduced burden of consumer debt, Discover needed to set aside less money to cover loan losses. The figure dipped from $271 million to $226 million, year over year.