clear
Monday February 8th, 2016 1:12AM
5:27PM ( 7 hours ago ) Weather Alert

US credit card late payments up in 4Q from 3Q

By The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Many Americans took on more credit card debt and failed to make timely payments in the final quarter of 2013, when consumers typically crank up spending on holiday shopping.

Even so, the national late-payment rate remained close to its lowest level in six years, credit reporting agency TransUnion said Tuesday.

The rate of credit card payments at least 90 days overdue was 1.48 percent in the October-December quarter. That's up from 1.36 percent in the previous three-month period, but down from 1.61 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, the firm said.

Average card debt per borrower rose 1.7 percent from the third quarter to an average of $5,325. It slipped 1 percent from a year earlier.

A sequential uptick in late payments and card balances is common in the fourth quarter, which coincides with the holiday shopping season. Many consumers use cards to supplement their spending and often put off making timely payments until the following year.

The latest card delinquency rate remains below the average rate of about 2.2 percent going back to 2007. The lowest card payment rate on the firm's books was set in the second quarter last year at 1.27 percent. The firm draws its figures from data culled from virtually every U.S. consumer who uses credit.

TransUnion projects the credit card delinquency rate will increase to around 1.57 percent in the January-March period.

Borrowing on credit cards plunged after the Great Recession as financial institutions tightened lending standards and households became more cautious about taking on high-interest debt at a time when millions of people were losing their jobs.

But over the past year, consumers have become more confident and have been willing to take on debt. Most of those gains have come in the category that covers auto and student loans, but credit card borrowing has been rising, if more slowly.

Credit card debt climbed by $5 billion December, the largest jump since May, according to the Federal Reserve.

Regardless, credit card debt is still 15.7 percent below its peak above $1 trillion reached in July 2008. Credit card debt in December stood at $861.9 billion, up just 1.9 percent from a year ago, according to the Fed.

Meanwhile, the number of new credit card accounts opened by consumers increased 11 percent to just under 12 million in the third quarter from a year earlier. The data lag by a quarter, so the latest TransUnion figures cover the July-September period.

While the numbers indicate lenders are signing up more borrowers to new credit cards accounts, the number of credit card accounts trails levels last seen before the 2008 financial crisis.

"There are still at least 40 million fewer credit card accounts active in the marketplace than what we observed just five years ago," said Ezra Becker, vice president of research and consulting at TransUnion's financial services business unit.

TransUnion's data also suggest that there is a reduced demand for new credit by borrowers with the highest, or prime, credit scores.

Becker points to industry reports showing that direct mail solicitations for new credit grew by about 30 percent last year, but new card accounts only rose about 11 percent in the same period.

"In short, consumers are managing the cards they have in their wallets effectively and do not seem to be seeking additional card credit at this point," Becker said.
© Copyright 2016 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 1 year ago )
High court to adopt electronic filing of cases
The Supreme Court is belatedly developing an electronic filing system similar to those used in courts around the country, Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday in his annual end-of-year report.
7:57PM ( 1 year ago )
Storm brings snow, cold to West for New Year's
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
5:19PM ( 1 year ago )
U.S. News
State DOT awards $48M contract for NE Ga. road project
The state Department of Transportation has awarded a $47.8 million contract for nine miles of work on a northeast Georgia road.
9:37AM ( 1 year ago )
Business News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 1 year ago )
Hall County conviction, sentencing to be reviewed by SCOGA
The State Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a Hall County man when they reconvene in January.
2:37PM ( 1 year ago )
Maysville man dies from Banks County wreck
The Georgia State Patrol reports that alcohol and/or drugs were factors a single-vehicle wreck that claimed the life of a Maysville man in Banks County Tuesday night.
11:07AM ( 1 year ago )
Local/State News
Search for Missouri couple wanted for crimes across the South, including Ga., ends with one suspect dead and the other wounded
A weeklong search for a Missouri couple wanted in a series of robberies and abductions across the South ended with one suspect dead and the other wounded Friday, after authorities say they chased the pair across the highway and through a rural neighborhood and exchanged gunfire with them in Florida's Panhandle.
By The Associated Press
9:57PM ( 2 days ago )
Cheap oil will be sticking around for a while, buoying consumers, frustrating oil producers
Cheap oil will be sticking around for a while.That reality is wreaking havoc and causing uncertainty for some governments and businesses, while creating financial windfalls for others. Less expensive...
6:18PM ( 5 days ago )
Cruz (R) expected to claim conservative Iowa caucus victory, with Clinton (D) and Sanders (D) deadlocked among liberal vote
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz swept to victory in Iowa's Republican caucuses Monday, overcoming billionaire Donald Trump and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. Among Democrats, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders were deadlocked in a tight race.
By The Associated Press
10:55PM ( 6 days ago )
America, its politics in flux as voting begins
On the eve of the first contest on the 2016 presidential election calendar, some voters are pushing for bolder, more uncompromising action, with an intensity that has shaken both the Republican and Democratic establishments.
By The Associated Press
9:00PM ( 1 week ago )
Piedmont College biology professor says getting rid of mosquito breeding areas key to control of Zika virus
The World Health Organization says the Zika virus is likely to spread to every area of the U.S. where the mosquito that carries it can be found - and that includes Georgia.
By Russell Brown
9:38AM ( 1 week ago )