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Late credit card payments hit 15-year low

Late payments on credit cards are at their lowest level in 15 years, TransUnion says.

The credit reporting agency said Tuesday that Nationwide, the rate of payments 90 days or more past due on bank-issued cards dropped to 0.74 percent in the first quarter of 2011.

The rate peaked in the first quarter of 2009 at 1.32 percent.

Card users also continue to pay down their credit card balances. The average credit card debt per borrower dropped to $4,679 for the quarter. Balances haven’t been this low since the third quarter of 2000.

TransUnion expects delinquency rates to edge down for the rest of the year, ending 2011 at around 0.7 percent. The credit reporting agency doesn’t forecast balance increases.