News release: “Consumer delinquencies declined significantly in last year’s third quarter as the economy improved and consumers better managed their finances, according to results from the American Bankers Association’s Consumer Credit Delinquency Bulletin. The composite ratio, which tracks delinquencies in eight closed-end installment loan categories, fell 13 basis points to 1.63 percent of all accounts in the third quarter, a record low that’s well under the 15-year average of 2.35 percent. The ABA report defines a delinquency as a late payment that is 30 days or more overdue. “More jobs and higher income are a recipe for lower delinquencies,” said James Chessen, ABA’s chief economist. “Consumers also continue to do a good job of monitoring their finances and keeping debt at manageable levels.” Bank card delinquencies saw a slight third-quarter increase, rising 13 basis points to 2.55 percent of all accounts – but still remain well below their 15-year average of 3.84 percent. “While bank card delinquencies saw a slight uptick, rates are still more than 30 percent below their 15-year average,” Chessen said. “It will be difficult for bank card delinquencies to improve further when they are already at such low levels.” Chessen noted that delinquencies in two home-related loan categories – home equity loans and home equity lines of credit – fell sharply in the third quarter as home prices increased.”
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