Credit Card Delinquencies Fall to the Year's Lowest Levels


U.S. credit card delinquencies fell in October to the lowest levels of the year as more people were able to restart payments on their consumer debt, The Wall Street Journalreported, citing company filings.

Capital One Financial (COF), American Express (AXP), Discover Financial Services (DFS), Bank of America (BAC) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) all reported Monday that the percentage of credit card payments that were more than 30 days late fell between September and October, The Wall Street Journal said. Bank stocks rose Monday because lower delinquencies reduce the amount of capital financial institutions need to keep in reserve to cover such potential losses, the newspaper said.

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The lower delinquency rate indicates that consumers may be starting to chip away at the record debt levels stemming from the recession. The Federal Reserve says revolving credit lines, which are primarily made up of credit card balances, are down about 15% since the end of 2008, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Most of the banks also said the percentage of credit card loans they've written off as losses also fell last month. So-called charge-offs fell for Capital One, Discover and JPMorgan Chase, while they were flat for American Express and increased for Bank of America, the Journal reported.

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