Newly Delinquent Card Loans Approach Record Lows, Moody’s Says

U.S. credit-card delinquencies fell in November to the lowest in almost three years as the six biggest issuers posted improved numbers, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

Loans at least 30 days overdue, a signal of future write- offs, dropped for the 13th consecutive month to 4.38 percent, the lowest since December 2007, Moody’s said today in a report. Loans delinquent 30 to 59 days, the earliest sign of trouble, declined to 1.14 percent, near an all-time low. Write-offs for loans deemed uncollectible, a lagging indicator, fell to 8.58 percent from October’s 8.79 percent.

The drop in new delinquencies bolsters the firm’s “expectation that charge-offs will ultimately break below the 7 percent mark later in 2011,” Jeffrey Hibbs, a Moody’s analyst, wrote in the report.

The top six U.S. credit-card issuers, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc., all reported lower delinquencies for November in regulatory filings earlier this month. Write-offs climbed at JPMorgan and McLean, Virginia-based Capital One Financial Corp. They fell at the other four, including American Express Co. and Discover Financial Services, based in Riverwoods, Illinois.

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