Average US Credit Card Debt Per Borrower Down

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LOS ANGELES (AP) - Ramped-up holiday season spending likely kept many Americans from making timely payments on their credit cards in the last three months of 2012.

Credit reporting agency TransUnion said Wednesday that the rate of credit card payments at least 90 days overdue jumped to 0.85 percent in the fourth quarter from 0.78 percent a year earlier.

That's an increase of about 9 percent.

The rate also climbed 13 percent from the third quarter, when it was 0.75 percent.

Meanwhile, the average amount of debt charged by borrowers in the fourth quarter was $5,122.

That's down 1.6 percent from a year earlier, but an increase of 2.5 percent from the July-September quarter.

One factor in the increased late-payment rate: Banks have been issuing more credit cards to borrowers with less-than-sterling credit.