Delinquencies in Capital One Financial Corp.'s U.S. credit card business declined during December while chargeoffs improved, the lender reported.

The 30-day delinquency rate for U.S. credit cards fell to 3.61 percent last month from 3.71 percent in November, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. For the international credit-card business the rate was 3.58 percent, compared with 4.56 percent during November, reflecting excess recoveries owing to a high-volume of debt sales in December.

Chargeoffs eased to 4.35 percent from 4.46 percent in November. Internationally, the rate was negative 0.88 percent, compared with 8.39 percent a month earlier, also reflecting December's excess recoveries.

Auto financing chargeoffs increased to 2.49 percent from 2.07 percent while auto-loan delinquencies rose to 7 percent from 6.44 percent.

The lender recently has benefited from improving credit quality and has been working to expand through acquisitions. It transformed from a credit card lender to a bank just before the financial crisis hit.

The company reported in October its third-quarter earnings jumped 44 percent as revenue strengthened thanks in part to two large acquisitions and lower expenses related to the deals. Capital One plans to release its fourth-quarter financial report Thursday.

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