The latest regulatory filing from American Express recently revealed that the rate at which consumers were 30 days or more behind on their credit card payments fell to 2 percent in February, according to a report from Dow Jones Newswires. That rate was 2.1 percent during the previous month.
Meanwhile, the lender also said it saw the rate at which it charged off credit card accounts those so far behind in payments the balances were written off as uncollectable – hold steady at 3.8 percent, the same figure observed in January, the report said. The highest rate the company ever wrote off came in April 2010, when it hit 10.1 percent. Typically, this action comes after 180 days of non-payment.
[Product Spotlight: Get all 3 Credit Reports with Equifax’s 3-in-1 Monitoring with Credit Score]
Often, delinquent accounts are viewed by those in the industry as indicators of future charge offs, the report said. However, it may take a number of months for changes in the former to be seen in the latter.
However, some experts disagree as to whether the significant improvements Americans have made in reducing their credit card debts over the last year or so were the result of more conscientious payment of bills and careful budgeting, or rather due to the large number of charge offs observed during most of 2009 and early 2010.