| August 16, 2011

Second-quarter credit card delinquencies hit 17-year low

The number of consumers who fell seriously behind on their credit card payments during the second quarter of the year slipped to a level not seen in 17 years.

The rate of consumers who were 90 days or more past due on their credit card payments fell to just 0.6 percent during the second quarter of the year, the lowest level since 1994, according to a report from the credit monitoring company TransUnion. However, during that the time the amount the average consumer owed to their credit card lender rose to $4,699, up $20 from the previous quarter.

The decline in credit card delinquency was largely expected by experts, but the drop was also more significant than it has been at any point since the recession began, the report said. On a quarter-by-quarter basis, the rate slipped 18.9 percent, and fell 34.8 percent from the same quarter in 2010.

Consumers’ debt likely rose due to the higher prices for necessities observed in the last several months, which many experts believe leads to more purchases on credit cards as family budgets are stretched thinner.

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