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CREDIT: A few more card holders put off making those monthly payments

Credit card holders who in ordinary years might have used their tax refunds to pay down their balances apparently spent the money elsewhere as the recession deepened in the first quarter.

That’s one of the conclusions that may be drawn from data showing the delinquency rate for bank-issued credit cards rose 11 percent in the first three months of the year, according to credit reporting agency TransUnion.

The delinquency rate jumped to 1.32 percent this year, from 1.19 percent in the first three months of 2008, TransUnion said. The statistic measures the percentage of card holders who are three months or more past due on MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover cards.

The Associated Press

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