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Credit card debt drops to eight-year low

NEW YORK — The amount consumers owed on their credit cards dropped to its lowest level in eight years, as cardholders continued to pay off balances in the uncertain economy.

The average combined debt for bank-issued credit cards — those with a MasterCard or Visa logo — fell to $4,951 in the second quarter, down 13 percent from $5,719 last year, according to TransUnion.

The credit reporting agency said it was the first time card debt fell below $5,000 since the first quarter of 2002.

More borrowers also made payments on time. The number of cardholders past due by 90 days or more fell to 0.92 percent in the second quarter, from 1.17 percent last year.

The improvements are more evidence that consumers are working to keep their credit cards in good standing.

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