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Credit card delinquencies decline

March 9, 2009 4:20:04 AM PDT
Americans are managing their credit better as the recession deepens - possibly a sign that the new era of responsibility that President Obama has been talking about is taking shape.

The number of people three months behind on bankcard payments fell 11 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008 from a year ago. Consumers restrained spending during the holidays, adding less than 2 percent to their balances, according to consumer credit tracking agency TransUnion.

The percentage of consumers behind 90 days or more on payments for their bankcards - MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover - fell to 1.21 percent in the fourth quarter, from 1.36 percent a year ago.

More on-time payments came even in the face of worsening job losses and home foreclosures.

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