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Late credit card payments decrease

LOS ANGELES — Americans are carrying smaller credit card balances and are making more of an effort to make timely payments, trends that have helped whittle the rate of late payments on credit cards down to the lowest level in nearly 20 years.

The rate of credit card payments at least 90 days overdue fell in the second quarter to 0.57 percent. That’s the lowest level since 1994, credit reporting agency TransUnion said Tuesday.

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The April-June card delinquency rate declined from 0.63 percent in the same period last year, and also was down from 0.69 percent in the first three months of the year.

The latest late-payment rate is the second-lowest recorded by TransUnion since the second quarter of 1994, when the rate was 0.56 percent, and it’s running ahead of the historical average of 1.03 percent. The firm’s records go back to 1992.

Americans’ credit card debt dropped $2.7 billion in June and remains 16.5 percent below its July 2008 peak, according to the Federal Reserve.

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