Credit Card Delinquencies Spike 11%

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More signs that the credit card portfolio of banks will continue to deteriorate:

AP: Credit card holders who in ordinary years might have used their tax refunds to pay down their balances apparently spent the money elsewhere as the recession deepened in the first quarter.

That’s one of the conclusions that may be drawn from data showing the delinquency rate for bank-issued credit cards rose 11 per cent in the first three months of the year, according to credit reporting agency TransUnion.

The delinquency rate jumped to 1.32 per cent this year, from 1.19 per cent in the first three months of 2008, TransUnion said. The statistic measures the percentage of card holders who are three months or more past due on their payments for cards bearing MasterCard and Visa logos, along with American Express and Discover cards.

The average total debt on bank cards also rose, jumping to $5,776 from $5,548 last year.

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