Credit card companies reporting their monthly earnings revealed that credit card delinquencies and charge-offs fell across the board in July, indicating that Americans may be improving their bad credit.
According to Reuters, most of the major credit card lenders showed downturns in the number of Americans defaulting on their credit card payments. “Charge-offs,” or bad loans deemed “uncollectable” by the company, were also down.
Discover and Bank of America both had their lowest charge-off rates of the year, while JP Morgan and Capital One’s fell below 8 percent.
As for delinquencies, the companies all posted declines, with JP Morgan’s late payments at a rate of 4.06 percent, Capital One at 4.66, Discover with 4.72 and Bank of America at 5.92
Overall, less delinquencies mean Americans are paying their bills on time. Timely payments are key for consumers looking to improve their bad credit.
Bill Hardekopf, author of “The Credit Card Handbook,” told the Orlando Sentinel that the numbers represented a change in Americans’ attitudes toward credit.
“Many consumers have been burned by the economic downturn,” Hardekopf said. “They got caught with too much debt; now many of them have stopped charging so much and using cash or debt cards instead.”
Two more major credit companies, Citigroup and American Express, are expected to report their numbers soon.