Credit Card Delinquency Rates Remain Low
Despite a slight increase at the end of 2013 due to holiday spending, the number of delinquent borrowers and the size of their balances continue to decline.
Credit card delinquency rates continue to linger near historic lows, especially after a decline in debt from 2012 to 2013, according to new data from TransUnion.
The rates, calculated based on the ratio of borrowers who are 90 days or more delinquent on their credit cards, declined from 1.61 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 to 1.48 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013.
Average credit card debt per borrower fell from $5,376 at the end of 2012 to $5,325 at the end of last year.
“Credit card delinquencies continue to remain much lower than historic norms. We also believe that there is a continuing reduced demand for new credit in the prime credit ranges,” said Ezra Becker, vice president of research and consulting in TransUnion’s financial services businesses unit.
The quarterly credit card delinquency rate did increase at the end of 2013 due to holiday shopping. It was 1.36 percent ($5,235) in the third quarter of 2013 compared to 1.48 percent ($5,325) in the fourth quarter, according to TransUnion.
Overall, however, Becker said that new credit cards originations, 11 percent, do not match the direct mail rate, 30 percent, in the last year. “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.”