For the first time since the fourth quarter of 2009, consumers' credit card delinquency rate rose this past quarter, a new report indicates.
According to TransUnion, the ratio of of borrowers 90 or more days past due rose to 0.71 percent between July and September, which translates to an increase of $63 per borrower. This puts the average consumer approximately $4,800 in debt, which historically is a low amount.
Ezra Becker, vice president of research and consulting of TransUnion's financial services business unit, attributed the rise to more people applying for credit cards, specifically those who have a spotty credit history.
"One such driver is the changing risk profile of consumers opening new credit card accounts," said Becker. "In the face of competition for prime consumers and the clear deleveraging efforts of those consumers, lenders have been gradually shifting their focus to the sub-prime market."
She added that with more high-risk customers opening credit cards and few low-risk consumers doing the same, it's inevitable that delinquency rates will jump as a result.
Occasionally, creditors may suspect a borrower is high risk due to inaccurate or unfair marks left on their credit report. These discrepancies may require credit repair services.