Nationwide credit card delinquencies stabilize

The financial picture of most Mississippians has likely changed in the past several years. Some may be in the process of tackling student loans after graduation, while others may be coping with lower-than-expected incomes or the fallout from layoffs during the worst of the recession. However, there is encouraging news on the financial front: the nationwide level of credit card delinquencies is at its lowest point in seven years.

The most recent version of the Transunion Industry Insights Report indicates an impressive drop in the credit card delinquency rate. Over the last year, the rate dropped almost nine percent. In the last quarter alone, the rate fell at about 15 percent. During the first quarter of this year, the rate fell at less than two percent. However, over the past year, the average amount of credit card debt held by each borrower did not experience any significant change.

According to the vice president of research and consulting for Transunion's financial services, rates of credit card delinquencies appear to be falling similarly across different age groups. In addition, the rates at which they are dropping are similar. Still, age appears to make a difference when it comes to the actual amount of credit card debt held.

Those in the oldest age groups (ages 50 and up) experienced an overall increase in the amount of debt owed to credit card companies. This is not unusual, though, because, traditionally, middle-aged Americans are in their peak purchasing years and today's older Americans may be grappling with medical expenses that they have put on credit cards. A study on third-party debt collection in 2013 noted that medical debt accounted for the highest percentage of debt collected that year.

Delinquent consumer debt is one of the many reasons that a Mississippi resident may consider filing for bankruptcy. Out-of-control medical debt and student loans also can contribute to being in over one's head with regard to financial challenges. A Southaven bankruptcy attorney can help anyone tackle delinquent credit card debt in the most appropriate manner for his or her unique situation.

Source: ACA International, "U.S. credit card delinquency rate reaches record low," Aug. 26, 2014

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