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The average bankcard borrower debt in the United States was $5,776 during the first quarter ended March 31, up 0.82% from $5,729 the previous quarter and up 4.1% from $5,548 during the first quarter last year, according to TransUnion.com's quarterly credit card analysis. The Chicago-based credit bureau defines average bankcard borrower debt as the total bankcard debt per number of bankcard borrowers. The percentage of bankcard borrowers who were at least 90 days delinquent on one or more of their cards increased to 1.32% during the quarter, up 11 basis points from 1.21% during the previous quarter and up 13 basis points from 1.19% during the same period a year ago, according to the credit bureau's analysis. "As the recession entered its sixth quarter, we saw continued increases in average bankcard balances as consumers struggled to meet repayment obligations in a job market that continues to deteriorate," Ezra Becker, director of consulting and strategy in TransUnion's financial services group, says of the analysis. "This increase could be an indication that tax-refund checks, typically used to pay down balances during the first quarter in years past, are now being used to cover daily living expenses."

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