Consumer Payment Card News

Late Payers

Based on total dollars past-due, credit card delinquency declined in the first three months of this year, compared to the level set in the previous quarter, but remains above last year’s ratio and well above historical figures. The decline is significant due to the “denominator effect” in the first quarter, wherein consumers typically pay-off their holiday charges, thus reducing the total amount owed on credit cards by 2% to 3%, compared to the previous quarter. According to data gathered by the American Bankers Association, based on the number of accounts past-due, delinquency was 4.21% in the first quarter, compared to an all-time high of 4.43% reached in the fourth quarter. Based on total dollars outstanding, bank card delinquencies decreased to 4.65% in the first quarter, from 4.92% in the previous quarter. The composite ratio of closed-end installment loans 30 days or more past due decreased slightly to 1.86% from 1.89% of all accounts. The ABA composite ratio tracks eight closed-end consumer installment loans, including personal, auto and home equity.

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