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A new report reveals that Americans are trying to improve their credit and focus on savings rather than spending. Data from the Fitch Ratings Credit Card Index shows that late-stage delinquencies have declined for the fourth consecutive month.

Late-stage delinquencies, defined by Fitch as credit card payments that are overdue for 60 days or more, declined 9 basis points to 4.18 percent last month. Payments overdue by 30-plus days also dropped by 21 basis points to 5.53 percent. The data suggests that fewer credit card holders will default on their accounts in the next few months.

Despite the positive report, financial stability depends on other factors, says Fitch managing director Michael Dean, who asserted that sustained recovery will "hinge on the employment situation over time."

The subprime mortgage crisis and subsequent recession has left many Americans more inclined to pay off their credit balances, place extra money into savings accounts and reduce their spending. Despite growing consumer confidence and low interest rates and prices, large numbers of Americans are still hesitant to pour their money back into the market, opting to set money aside in the event of another crisis.

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This page was last modified on Thu Apr 24 15:01:32 MDT 2014