| September 12, 2011

Credit card charge offs climbed in August

After months of steep declines in the rate at which consumers fell several months behind on their credit card payments, the rate of charged off accounts ticked back up in August.

Fitch Ratings recently reported that the number of credit card charge offs nationwide rose for the first time in four months in August as a result of two of the nation’s largest lenders having more trouble recovering outstanding debt, according to a report from Dow Jones Newswires. Overall, the number of defaulted credit card accounts jump 6.41 percent, up from the 6.33 percent observed in August.

However, that rate is still 35 percent lower than the rates observed during the same month last year, indicating that Americans’ financial situations are still much healthier overall, the report said. Further, the current rate is still considered close to the all-time historical average of about 6 percent.

Typically, fluctuations in the number of delinquent credit card accounts are reflected in charge offs several months down the line. Several of the nation’s top lenders have seen early-stage delinquency tick upwards at some point in recent months.

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