Credit card delinquencies and debts fall in 2010

Visa

Credit card delinquencies and debts declined over the last quarter of 2010. Image: MoneyBlogNewz/Flickr/CC-BY

Fewer credit card delinquencies are being reported, and the level of credit card debt is declining as well. Data released by credit bureau TransUnion indicates that more people are paying off debt and more credit cards are being issued. Falling delinquencies indicate many people are paying off holiday shopping sprees.

2010 the year of debt relief for many consumers

During the last three months of 2010, the number of delinquencies for credit cards declined considerably, according to ABC. Credit score bureau TransUnion released a report that indicated credit card delinquencies fell to just 0.82 percent in the last three months of 2010, compared with 1.21 percent in the last three months of 2009. The third quarter of 2010 had a delinquency rate of 0.83 percent. Delinquencies normally rise during the last three months of the year and the holiday shopping season, but now it appears more people are relying on themselves to avoid debt settlement relief, rather than having to get a loan to pay off toys for the tots.

Balances rise and fall

The national average balance carried by credit card holders has also declined. The combined average balance for all major cardholders — all people that hold a Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express — declined to $4,965 for the last three months of 2010, which is a reduction of 8.6 percent from the same period in 2009. However, according to the Washington Post, the average balance rose in 33 states. Mississippi, Iowa and Washington D.C. had the highest balances in the nation.

Rise in new issued cards

Despite recent caterwauling from credit card companies that their businesses will be hampered and lose lots of advance cash because of the CARD Act, new cards are being issued at a considerable pace. The last quarter of 2010 had the number of new credit cards rise by 19.1 percent. That was the first time since 2007 that the number of newly issued credit cards rose for two consecutive quarters.

Sources

ABC

Washington Post

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