Credit Card Delinquency Rate Near 18-Year Low

Published August 23, 2012

The delinquency rate on credit card accounts dropped during the second quarter of 2012 to its second-lowest level since 1994.

According to TransUnion, the delinquency rate—the percentage of credit card borrowers at least 90 days past due on their accounts—dropped to 0.63 percent in the second quarter from 0.73 percent in the first quarter.

The delinquency rate is at its lowest level since the second quarter of last year when it was 0.60 percent. Besides that quarter, the last time the delinquency rate was below its current level was 1994.

“The national credit card delinquency rate continues to remain at the lowest levels we’ve observed in 18 years,” said Ezra Becker, vice president of research and consulting in TransUnion’s financial services business unit, in a statement. “These low delinquency rates reflect both continued conservatism in lender underwriting and the ongoing prioritization of card payments among consumers.”

The average credit card debt per borrower rose 5.7 percent in the past year, from $4,699 in the second quarter of 2011 to $4,971 during 2012’s second quarter. This average is well below the $5,719 that consumers carried during the second quarter of 2009.