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Both the overall average credit card debt and credit card loan delinquency per borrower declined in the first quarter ended March 31 compared with the previous quarter, the first decrease since the first quarter of 2007, according to TransUnion.com's Quarterly Credit Card Analysis. Average credit card debt dropped 1.24%, to $1,673 from the previous quarter's $1,694 total, though the total remains 5.6% higher than the $1,584 average during the same period a year ago. Nationally, the ratio of credit card borrowers 90 or more days past due on one or more of their credit cards declined to 1.19% in the first quarter, down 17 basis points from the 1.36% ratio in the previous quarter ended Dec. 31. The total nevertheless remains higher than the 0.91% ratio during the first quarter of 2007. Nevada (1.74%), Mississippi (1.53%) and Florida (1.51%) posted the highest credit card loan delinquency ratios per borrower. The lowest delinquency ratios were in North Dakota (0.67%), Utah (0.75%) and South Dakota (0.79%). Alaska posted the highest state average card debt per credit card borrower at $2,378, followed by Tennessee at $2,013 and Alabama at $2,005. The states with the lowest average credit card debt per credit card borrower were Iowa ($1,252), North Dakota ($1,265) and South Dakota ($1,365). "Recent deceleration, however slight, in the mortgage-delinquency rate is reflected in the bankcard market as consumers take stock of their overall debt and begin to catch up on their repayment schedule wherever possible," says Ezra Becker, principal consultant in TransUnion's financial services group. "Even states like California, Florida and Nevada that have experienced large increases over the last four quarters in their bankcard delinquency rates showed a drop in the first quarter." The TransUnion.com report is part of a series of quarterly consumer-lending analyses focusing on credit card, auto loan and mortgage data.

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