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Consumers Continue To Cut Debt In The Third Quarter

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Consumers continue to cut debt, increase savings. Americans continued to be weary of accumulating new debts, making timely payments and using credit cards more wisely in the third quarter, a new report says.

In its quarterly analysis of credit card industry trends, TransUnion found national delinquency rates decreased to 0.83 percent in November.

Credit card delinquencies, defined as payments more than 90 days late, fell by nearly 25 percent at an annualized rate and were down 9.8 percent from the previous quarter's numbers. The organization's analysis also suggests 8 million Americans ceased using credit cards during the past year.

The report cited an increase in charge offs by lenders, conservative spending by consumers and an increase in consumer caution as the reasons for these figures. However, the agency stressed the continuing plight of Americans in these tough economic times.

"Consumers who do not have or use bank-issued, general purpose credit cards still have a need for other payment vehicles, a fact which is beginning to attract significant attention from credit and debit providers alike," said Ezra Becker, TransUnion's vice president of research and consulting.

In addition, the report found more than 70 million consumers did not have an active credit card in 2010.

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New government regulations in place for consumers in need of debt relief for credit cards and other unsecured debts.