TransUnion reports drop in delinquency

Americans appear to be getting a better handle on their debt, according to a recent report from TransUnion.

The credit reporting agency's latest quarterly analysis showed the national credit card delinquency rate – the rate at which borrowers fell 90 days or more behind on their bank-issued credit card – fell to 0.74 percent during the first quarter of this year, from the 0.82 percent recorded at the end of 2010.

Ezra Becker, a vice president at the company, said debt reduction by consumers and continued conservative lending practices by companies are the main reasons for the drop.

"In today's economy, many consumers are continuing the trend of paying their credit cards before or in lieu of their mortgages, reversing the typical payment hierarchy," he said. "In paying their credit cards on time and reducing their debt, consumers are ensuring their access to liquidity, if needed, as the economy slowly recovers."

In addition to paying off debt, some consumers are looking to improve their credit by reviewing their credit report for errors or unverifiable information. Consumers who find marks on their records that cannot be substantiated by a credit company or which were reported in error may investigate and challenge the items. Often, taking this step can help consumers boost their credit scores.