ABA: Credit card debt declines in first quarter of 2010

ABA: Credit card debt declines in first quarter of 2010. Yet another sign that the American economy is starting to recover came recently and showed that more Americans are paying off their credit card debt on-time.

The most recent report from the American Bankers Association said that the number of consumers with delinquencies on their bank-issued credit cards dropped to 3.88 percent in the first quarter of this year. The ABA defines a delinquency as a payment that is 30 days or more overdue.

The report said that this is the first time the national delinquency rate on such cards has dropped below 4 percent since the second quarter of 2002, and is also slightly below the average delinquency rate over the last 15 years, which is 3.93 percent.

"It’s clear that consumer balance sheets are improving. People are borrowing less, saving more and building wealth. These are all positive signs," ABA chief economist James Chessen said.

Unfortunately, unemployment remained high at 9.5 percent in June, so this trend may not necessarily continue into the second quarter of the year.