Credit Card Debt Fell in Second Quarter as Borrowers Cut Back

credit card
credit card

Credit card debt fell sharply in the second quarter as more consumers paid down their balances.

Average credit card debt fell 13.4% to $4,951 in the second quarter, the lowest since 2002, analysis company TransUnion said in a statement. The state with the highest average credit card debt was Alaska, with $7,148. The lowest was in Iowa, with $3,792.

It appears that consumers have come to realize that material improvement in unemployment is unlikely in the short-term, and now is the time to balance saving versus spending," said Ezra Becker, director of consulting and strategy in TransUnion's financial services business unit. "It remains to be seen whether this dynamic will be short term or a new paradigm for consumer behavior."

Delinquencies also fell sharply in the second quarter.

Delinquency, defined as the ratio of bankcard borrowers 90 days or more delinquent on at least one credit card, fell 21% in the second quarter from a year earlier. Nationwide, the ratio was 0.92%.

Nevada had the highest delinquency rate with 1.5%, while North Dakota had the lowest, with 0.54% of bankcard borrowers behind on payments.