The number of consumers who allowed their credit card debt payments to fall delinquent during the final three months of 2010 slipped to 3.28 percent of all accounts, according to the latest quarterly statistics from the American Bankers Association. This was a drop from the 3.64 percent observed at the end of the third quarter of 2010. It was also well below the current 15-year average of 3.92 percent, and the lowest rate observed since the first quarter of 2001.
ABA chief economist James Chessen noted that the declines in delinquent credit card debt over the last several months are likely the result of more hiring, lower unemployment rates, and broadening household wealth, the report said. When consumers have more money, they are more likely to both spend more and reduce their outstanding balances, he said.
However, a recent study found some consumers are staying current on their credit card debt by sacrificing payments on their mortgage.