The rate at which consumers fell seriously behind on paying down their credit card debt rose for the first time in nearly two years during the third quarter.
The nationwide delinquency rate for credit cards that are 90 days or more behind on payments rose to 0.71 percent in the third quarter of the year, the first quarter-over-quarter increase observed since the final three months of 2009, according to the latest report from the credit monitoring bureau TransUnion. The reason for this increase is likely because lenders have once again begun expanding offers to consumers with subprime credit ratings.
"When more high-risk customers are opening cards and fewer low-risk consumers are doing so, it is inevitable that delinquency rates will increase," said Ezra Becker, vice president of research and consulting in TransUnion's financial services business unit. "In one sense this is good news: those consumers who are most affected by the continuing tough economy are gaining better access to the credit 'breathing room' they need to make ends meet."
Continual drops in instances of both delinquency and default indicates more people are attempting to get out of debt, leading lenders to expand marketing efforts to all consumers.