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Past-due card debt sets record; other delinquencies drop

The Associated Press
March 24

- The percentage of credit card payments that were past due shot up to a record in the final quarter of last year.
But delinquency rates for some other types of consumer loans dropped, painting a mixed picture of how Americans are handling debt.

The seasonally adjusted percentage of credit card accounts 30 or more days past due rose to 4.43 percent in 2003's final quarter, the American Bankers Association reported in a survey released yesterday.

That surpassed the all-time quarterly high of 4.09 percent, set in the third quarter of last year.

In the latest national jobs report, 8.2 million people were unemployed in February, with the average duration of 20.3 weeks without work.

That marked the highest average duration of joblessness in more than 20 years.

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