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U.S. credit card delinquency rate at 0.78 percent in 2011's fourth quarter

Credit card debt struggles can be very impactful on consumers. Recently, the Wall Street Journal reported on some statistics regarding credit card debt. The statistics regard the credit card delinquency rate (the percentage of borrowers who are 90 days or more past due on their credit card payments) in the U.S. in 2011's fourth quarter and are from TransUnion (a credit reporting agency).

Reportedly, in the fourth quarter of 2011, the U.S. saw a credit card delinquency rate of 0.78 percent. This rate reportedly is 0.04 percentage points lower than the delinquency rate the U.S. saw in 2010's fourth quarter and is the lowest delinquency rate the U.S. has experienced in a fourth quarter in 16 years.

However, while the credit card delinquency rate in the U.S. was down on a year-over-year basis in 2011's fourth quarter, it was up from 2011's third quarter. Reportedly, in the third quarter of 2011, the credit card delinquency rate in the U.S. was only at 0.71 percent. Thus, the U.S. saw a quarter-to-quarter rise in credit card delinquency in 2011's fourth quarter. As we mentioned in a previous post, credit card delinquency had also gone up on a quarter-to-quarter basis in 2011's third quarter.

Thus, while the U.S. saw a lower credit card delinquency rate in 2011's fourth quarter than it has in other fourth quarters in the recent past, it appears that the U.S. is currently seeing a trend of quarter-to-quarter rises in credit card delinquency. This trend gives rise to some questions. What causes are behind this trend? What other effects have the causes of this trend had on consumers in Florida and the rest of the U.S.? One wonders what the answers to these questions will ultimately be determined to be.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "TransUnion: 4Q Credit Card Delinquencies Book Lowest Year-End Rate Since '95," Mia Lamar, Feb. 22, 2012

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