Credit card charge offs fall in October

While many consumers are still facing unemployment and credit card debt, new reports suggest a greater number of Americans are making timely payments to creditors.

Several major credit card issuers reported decreases in charge offs – delinquent payments that are more than 90 days late – for the month of October.

Charge offs declined to 8.79 percent for the month, hitting their lowest mark in almost two years, Bloomberg reports. JPMorgan Chase, Capital One and several other lenders all reported declines in this category, which could mean a loosening of lending restriction in the coming months.

“The drop provides a clear indication that charge offs have plenty of momentum for further declines at least into the spring of 2011,” said Jeffrey Hibbs, a Moody’s analyst, in a report last week, the news source says.

Economists say the fact that more Americans are paying off their debts, coupled with increased profits for credit card companies, could be good for consumers. By receiving steadier and more reliable payments, lenders may begin to loosen credit restrictions for consumers struggling with charge offs and looking for additional credit lines.