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US consumer delinquencies rose slightly in 4th-qtr: Bank group

U.S. consumer delinquencies rose slightly in the fourth quarter but remained near record lows as consumers continue to take a judicious approach to managing their finances, the American Bankers Association said on Wednesday.

Delinquencies in seven of the 11 individual loan categories fell in the last quarter of 2014 and a healthy economy and continued financial discipline among consumers bodes well for future delinquency rates, the bank group said.

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"Consumers have regained confidence since the last recession, but they remain careful about taking on additional debt," said James Chessen, the ABA's chief economist.

The bankers association defines a delinquency as a payment that is more than 30 days overdue. It does not track traditional mortgage payments.

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A composite ratio that reflects late payments in eight loan categories, including personal and auto loans, rose three basis points to 1.54 percent of all accounts, the group said.

Bank card delinquencies ticked up slightly in the fourth quarter, rising one basis point to 2.52 percent of all accounts.

Delinquencies in home equity loans and home equity lines of credit fell to 3.23 percent and 1.48 percent, respectively, as the housing market improves.

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"Home equity delinquencies are trending in the right direction as the housing market continues its slow march toward recovery," said Chessen.

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