The U.S. credit card delinquency rate decreased to 1.11% for the first quarter ended March 31, according to TransUnion LLC’s quarterly analysis of credit card delinquency trends. It marks just the third time in 10 years that the rate declined in the first quarter, TransUnion said. The delinquency rate fell 100 basis points from 1.21% in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Average credit card borrower debt, which is the aggregate balance on all bank-issued credit cards for an individual borrower, was down for the fourth consecutive quarter by 4.9% to $5,165 from the previous quarter's $5,434. Alaska had the highest state average credit card debt at $7,135, followed by Tennessee at $6,688. Iowa had the lowest average card debt at $3,872, followed by North Dakota ($4,144) and South Dakota ($4,218).

TransUnion's Trend Data report is part of the credit bureau's series of quarterly consumer lending studies focusing on credit card, mortgage and auto loan data. Information for the analysis is culled from an estimated 27 million anonymous, randomly sampled, credit files that combined represent 10% of consumers who actively use credit.

No state showed an increase in average credit card debt from the prior quarter. The steepest decreases over the prior quarter occurred in New Mexico (-6.80%), Kansas (-6.77%) and Iowa (-6.45%).

On a year-over-year basis, national credit card originations dropped almost 24%. Nevada, Maryland, and Pennsylvania experienced the steepest year-over-year declines in originations (-34.1%, -31.3%, and -29.8%, respectively).

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