American consumers are paying their credit card balances on time. Despite that, it’s not all good news. We are still falling behind on mortgage payments, unfortunately.
While credit cards are being promptly paid off, evidence shows that more and more consumers are paying off the balances of their mortgages 60 days or later, according to Experian. Experian itself is one of the leading international information service companies.
Since 2007, delinquent payments over 60 days decreased 20 per cent across the nation, on average. Yet on the other hand, about a quarter of consumers have been 60 days late or more paying their mortgages.
Across the board, consumers are paying more attention to their credit card use and payments. 30 of America’s largest metropolitan areas reported a decrease in credit card late payments. The city of Cleveland reported the biggest decrease, according to the study. The city improved its percentage by 35 per cent in the four years from 2007 to 2011.
Sadly, the percentage rate increase was not the same for mortgage payments. In fact, the number of mortgage payments 60 or more days past due increased in a total of 26 metropolitan areas. Only four cities succeeded in experiencing decreases.
Homeowners in Portland, Ore., are doing the worst at paying their mortgage payments in a timely fashion. It may just be a sign of the economy but Experian reported that the city had a 100 per cent increase in the percentage of missed or late mortgage payments. There were other financial tragedies on the west coast, too. Phoenix saw a 78.4 per cent increase and Seattle increased 65.1 per cent. On the other side of the country, Baltimore saw an increase of 66.8 per cent of late mortgage payments and New York clocked in at 49.4 per cent.
Late payments dropped in Detroit, Minneapolis, Cleveland, and Denver. Many cities in Texas saw a 30 per cent decline.
“Even when we examine the cities with the sharpest increases in late mortgage payments, we still see that consumers as a whole are paying off bills better now than they were before the recession,” Arnold Taubman, an economist at Credit-Land.com, a leading credit card surveying website, said. “The data indicates that consumers are attempting to pay off their smaller, more manageable bills first.”
Credit card payments are generally smaller than mortgage payments and that may be the reason that consumers choose to pay them off first as opposed to their mortgages. Nevertheless, the data shows that credit card delinquencies have decreased, and mortgage delinquency is on the rise.
If you are a consumer conflicted between which bill to pay first, try to spread the wealth evenly and pay off portions of both your credit card as well as your mortgage.
NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.