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Americans put credit card bill ahead of mortgage

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Americans are more likely to pay their credit card bills than their mortgages, according to a study from TransUnion LLC. The trend, which began during the Great Recession, reflects the lingering affects of the housing crisis.

Many experts expected the payment behavior to revert by now to the old dynamic of consumers paying their mortgages first, but that has yet to happen, the Chicago-based credit score agency said. Get the full story »

TransUnion: Those with good credit to drive auto demand

Demand for new cars will likely spike in 2011 among consumers who lenders will be happy to do business with: those with very high credit scores.

More than 60 percent of the leases expiring next year are held by borrowers in the “super prime” category, meaning they have credit scores of 720 or better, reflecting excellent on-time payment histories, according to TransUnion, a Chicago-based credit reporting agency. Get the full story »

TransUnion: 2011 payment problems to drop

Consumers are expected to get better control on their mortgage and credit-card payments next year as the economy slowly improves.

Chicago-based credit reporting firm TransUnion predicts that delinquencies, or late payments, on the two biggest major forms of borrowing will drop sharply again in 2011, after substantial declines seen in the second half of this year. Get the full story »

Card delinquencies fall on lower consumer use

(Nhat V. Meyer/San Jose Mercury News/MCT)

The nation’s credit-card delinquency rate fell in the third quarter, to 0.83 percent, according to a report by Chicago-based credit reporting firm TransUnion. This represents a 9.8 percent decrease from the previous quarter in terms of borrowers whose accounts are 90 days or more delinquent, and a 24.6 percent decline from the year-ago quarter.

TransUnion also estimates that 8 million consumers stopped actively using bank-issued credit cards in the past year.

The trends stem in part from some seriously delinquent debt being classified as uncollectable, and in part by more conservative spending in lower risk segments of the population, the company said. Get the full story »

Late mortgage payments jump in Illinois

Late mortgage payments jumped sharply several Northeastern states during the third quarter, compared with a year ago, while the national delinquency rate rose at a far slower pace.

The rate of borrowers who were 60 days or more past due on their home loans jumped sharply in New York, New Jersey, Maine, Connecticut and Delaware, according to TransUnion. Pennsylvania, Vermont, Rhode Island, Maryland and New Hampshire also saw higher delinquency in the quarter. In Illinois the rate of late payments jumped to 6.55 percent in the third quarter from 5.95 percent a year ago, a 10.1 percent increase. Get the full story »

More paying auto loans on time

In another sign that borrowers have taken tighter control of their debt, late payments on auto loans dropped in the second quarter. The rate of payments 60 days or more past due dropped to 0.53 percent of outstanding auto loans in the April-to-June period, from 0.73 percent a year ago, according to credit reporting agency TransUnion. Get the full story>>

Credit card debt drops to lowest level in 8 years

The amount consumers owed on their credit cards in this year’s second quarter dropped to the lowest level in more than eight years as cardholders continued to pay off balances in the uncertain economy.

The average combined debt for bank-issued credit cards — like those with a MasterCard or Visa logo — fell to $4,951 in the three months ended June 30, down more than 13 percent from $5,719 in the same period a year ago, according to TransUnion. Get the full story »

Rate of missed mortgage payments jumps in 2Q

The rate at which U.S. homeowners fell behind on their mortgage payments remained stubbornly elevated in the second quarter.

In the three months ended June 30, the number of mortgage holders 60 days or more behind on their payments was 6.67 percent, credit reporting agency TransUnion said Tuesday. That’s a big jump from 5.81 percent in the second quarter of last year, and well above the historical norm of 1.5 percent to 2 percent.

Credit-card debt drops 10.5% in May

Paying down credit-card debt appears to be on the upswing.

Consumers cut their outstanding revolving debt -– overwhelmingly credit cards -– by an annualized, seasonally adjusted rate of 10.5 percent in May, the Federal Reserve reported Thursday. That’s on the heels of an 11.8 percent drop in April. Revolving credit is a line of credit allowing consumers to pay all or part of an outstanding balance, and, as the balance is paid, it becomes available to spend again as credit. Get the full story »

Sharp increase in Illinois mortgage delinquencies

By Mary Ellen Podmolik | Homeowners in the Chicago area are falling delinquent on their mortgages at a faster rate than those for Illinois as a whole and for the nation, a trend that could dampen hope for a local housing recovery.

the Chicago area, 7.71 percent of mortgages were 60 days or more
delinquent in
the last three months of 2009, compared with a delinquency rate of 4.57
in 2008’s final quarter, credit-reporting firm TransUnion said Tuesday.

Get the full story »