Credit card defaults up for first time in 5 years

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For the first time in nearly five years, credit card default rates are on the rise.

While still low on a relative basis, the February default rate for bank cards increased nearly a quarter percentage point, from 2.61 percent to 2.84 percent, according to the latest S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Rate report. On a year-over-year basis, the rate was up a tick from February 2014's 2.83 percent. ()

Though a small amount, the annualized increase was the first for bank cards since July 2010.

Rather than signal a warning sign of looming credit problems, the number actually could be seen as a positive that people are gaining confidence, said David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

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