With unemployment running at 12.5 percent statewide, Nevada continues to lead the nation in credit card delinquencies.
Chicago-based TransUnion LLC, which tracks consumer debt nationwide, reported Monday that the credit card delinquency rate nationwide tumbled in the first quarter to 0.74 percent from 0.82 percent in 2010’s fourth quarter.
TransUnion said the national rate is the lowest since 1996 as banks have become more conservative in extending credit while many consumers are paying credit card bills before – or instead of – mortgages, to ensure liquidity for themselves.
In Nevada, the ratio of bank card borrowers 90 days or more delinquent on one or more of their bank-issued cards was 1.16 percent, down from 1.27 percent in the fourth quarter, TransUnion said.
"From a delinquency perspective, not since the summer of 1996 have consumers demonstrated a better level of fiscal responsibility in meeting debt obligations on a timely basis. Even with increased economic pressures, they are placing a premium on paying off their credit card obligations and maintaining the health of their card relationships," Ezra Becker, a TransUnion vice president of research and consulting, said in a statement.
Despite these statistics, the credit card industry remains aggressive in finding credit-worthy customers and credit card originations nationwide increased 23.6 percent year-over-year in the first quarter.
Nevada, despite leading the nation in delinquencies, saw the largest increase in originations nationwide at 45.7 percent, TransUnion said.
In a separate report last week, TransUnion said that in the first quarter, Nevada was No. 2 in the nation in the percentage of delinquent mortgages (14.19 percent), with Florida No. 1 at 14.37 percent. The national rate was 6.19 percent.
For Nevada, that percentage is down slightly from the fourth quarter rate of 14.76 percent.