The number of adult delinquents has hit an all-time record. Credit card delinquency, based on the number of accounts 30+ days past due, hit a high of 4.07% in the final three months of 2002. Based on total dollars outstanding, bank card delinquencies rose to 4.63%, compared to the previous quarter’s 4.45%, but slightly lower than the fourth quarter of 2001. According to the American Bankers Association’s latest “Consumer Credit Delinquency Bulletin,” delinquencies, based on outstandings, last reached 4.63% in the third quarter of 1998, and hit a record 5.45% in the fourth quarter of 1996. The ABA blames anemic job growth for the current rise in delinquency. CardData says that discounting the delinquency rates of sub-prime specialists Capital One, Providian, Household, and Metris, the average delinquency rate among the nation’s top issuers, based on outstandings, would have declined 20 basis points during 2002, from 5.23% to 5.03%. On average, the top 10 issuer delinquency rate for 4Q/02 is 6.62%, compared to 6.44% in the prior quarter, and 6.17% one year ago. But, no matter how you figure it, delinquency is a disturbing problem for credit card issuers.