US research outfit
has released the results of its analysis of trends in the US credit
card lending industry for the first quarter of 2009 based upon
approximately 27 million credit files.

It says that the delinquency rate – the ratio
of bankcard borrowers 90 days or more delinquent on one or more of
their bankcards – increased to 1.32 percent in the first quarter of
2009, up 9.1 percent over the previous quarter.

Year-on-year, bankcard delinquencies increased
11 percent from 1.19 to 1.32 percent.

Average bankcard borrower debt (defined as the
aggregate balance on all bank-issued credit cards for an individual
bankcard borrower) rose 0.82 percent to $5,776 from the previous
quarter’s $5,729, and 4.09 percent compared to the first quarter of
2008 ($5,548).

The current TransUnion forecast for the 90-day
bankcard delinquency rate is a continued rise throughout 2009,
approaching 1.7 percent by year-end. Depending on the impact of
various stimulus programmes and the effects of unemployment, the
group says the bankcard delinquency rate’s upward climb could taper
off in early 2010, with a peak in late 2010 or early 2011.