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Credit card charge-offs fall again in September

By , CardRatings contributor
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Credit card account charge-offs fell again for another month at most major lenders, according to reports by Dow Jones and Bloomberg. Many credit card industry analysts review default and delinquency rates as key indicators for the nation's economic recovery. Steadily falling charge-off rates indicate increasing stability among credit card issuers, who have used new guidelines to eliminate riskier accounts. Many lenders repackage charged-off credit card accounts as bonds or other derivatives to be sold on the secondary markets to private collection agencies.

American Express reported an annualized default rate of 5.2% during the third quarter of 2010, a drop of a full percentage point since the second quarter. Discover Card experienced a nearly similar drop, charging off just 7.15% of its portfolio using annualized numbers. Bank of America, heavily exposed to consumer credit card lending, enjoyed the steepest drop in account defaults during Q3 among major banks. Company officials reported a write-off rate of 9.99% in September, down from 11.73% in August. Charge-offs rose only slightly at Capital One during the same period.

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