Las Vegas Sun

October 30, 2014

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Finances:

Nevadans succeed in reducing personal debt

Coming off the holiday shopping season, Nevadans trimmed their credit card debts and late payments.

The average borrower’s credit card debt last quarter was $4,758, down 5.2 percent from $5,019 a year earlier, according to a new report from TransUnion, a Chicago-based consumer research firm.

It was the largest percentage drop in the country in that period and pushed Nevadans’ debt levels just below the national average.

Meanwhile, Nevada’s credit card delinquency rate, or the percentage of borrowers who were at least 90 days late on their payments, inched lower to 0.86 percent last quarter from 0.93 percent a year earlier.

Although its debt levels were in the middle of the pack, Nevada had the sixth-highest credit card delinquency rate in the country in the three months ending March 31.

Mississippi was first, followed by Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia and Louisiana.

Nationally, the average borrower’s credit card debt slipped by almost 2 percent in the past year, to $4,878, while the delinquency rate fell to 0.69 percent from 0.73 percent.

Late payments and balances typically decline during the first three months of the year, as many people pay down their holiday shopping bills or use tax refunds to pay off debts, Vice President of Research and Consulting Ezra Becker said in Tuesday’s report.

The findings come about two weeks after TransUnion reported that the percentage of Nevadans who are months late on their mortgage payments is falling but remains well above the national average.

Nevada had a mortgage delinquency rate of 9.12 percent last quarter, which means more than 9 out of every 100 borrowers statewide were at least 60 days late on their housing payments as of March 31.

A year earlier, the rate was 11.16 percent.

Despite the dip, Nevada had the second-highest mortgage delinquency rate in the country last quarter. Florida topped the chart at 11 percent.

The mortgage delinquency rate nationally was almost 4.6 percent last quarter, down from 5.8 percent a year earlier.

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