Credit card late payments edge higher in September

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NEW YORK (AP) ? In what may be an early sign that credit card users are again having trouble paying their bills, five of the nation’s top six credit card issuers say late payments rose in September.

That’s the first month since February 2009 that so many major companies reported a rise in payments late by 30 days or more.

The increases were all smaller than a percentage point. But late payments, or delinquencies, are considered an indicator of potential defaults, which socked banks with $75 billion in losses in 2009-2010 alone.

Analysts generally expect improvements in delinquencies and defaults to level off as the year draws to a close. But with unemployment remaining above 9 percent and some economists predicting another recession, it is worrisome that more people appear to be falling behind.