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Credit Card Delinquencies at a 19-Year Low [AUDIO]

Tighter restrictions and smarter consumers shake down to fewer credit card delinquencies these days, according to a new report.

credit cards
Jeff J. Mitchell, Getty Images

The American Bankers Association says the percent of credit card delinquencies right now is at its lowest level since 1994, perhaps reflecting some lessons learned during the recent economic downturn.

Delinquencies in all three home-related categories – home equity loans, home equity lines of credit and property improvement loans – also fell during the fourth quarter.

“The consumer himself or herself are being much more careful to make sure that they are meeting those payments. In fact, you see something very similar happening to auto loans,” Rider University finance expert Maury Randall said.

The ABA says more credit card holders are paying their bills on time. Delinquencies in the fourth quarter of last year were about two-and-a-half percent. The rate during the height of the recession was over five percent.

The only fly in the ointment are student loans.

A separate report released by the New York Federal Reserve Board in February stated that the percentage of student loans that are delinquent by more than 90 days climbed to 11.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, up from 8.69 percent at the end of the first quarter of the year.

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