| January 11, 2011

Credit card, mortgage loan delinquencies see third quarter decline

During the third quarter of this year, it appears many U.S. consumers continued to struggle finding a job and dealing with debt, resulting in them making fewer timely payments on mortgages and credit card debt, according to recently released data from the American Bankers Association.

Overall, late payments to lenders increased in eight loan categories, rising 3.01 percent on all accounts in the three months that ended on September 30.

“Consumer-credit delinquencies are very much tied to what happens with jobs and what happens with income, and both of those stumbled in the third quarter,” James Chessen, the ABA’s chief economist, told Bloomberg.

The ABA released these figures as part of its Consumer Credit Delinquency Bulletin, and found that most of the slight increase was due to late payments on home-equity lines, auto loans and credit cards. During the second fiscal quarter delinquencies in these categories were at 3 percent.

Home-equity loan delinquencies in particular rose to 4.05 percent, up from 3.97 percent in the preceding quarter. Past due credit card payments also rose .02 percentage points to 3.64 percent.

The Federal Reserve said it may take years for the labor market to stabilize and that economists should not expect to see significant improvements until then.

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