More bad news about Americans' debt


For a while, it looked as if Americans were getting a better grip on their out-of-control credit card habits. Unfortunately, new data shows that we seem to be falling off the wagon once again.

According to this article in the Wall Street Journal, the rate of credit card charge-offs rose in November from 10% to 10.6% after declining for the past two months, and delinquencies continued a four-month rise, hitting 6.2% in November. Delinquencies are payments that are 30 days or more past due. Charge-offs are balances that the card company writes off as a loss and gives up on (generally, they sell the debt for pennies on the dollar to a third-party debt collector).