New retirement hurdle: Credit card debt
News from MSN Money:

This post comes from Matthew Heimer at partner site MarketWatch.

It’s long been a mantra of retirement planning: No mortgage, no debt, no problem. But the combination of rising health care and housing costs, flattening wages and the recent crash and recession has made that goal harder to attain.

Over the last two decades, the share of people reaching retirement with mortgage debt has steadily risen. And according to a new report by the research and advocacy group Demos and the AARP Public Policy Institute (.pdf file), the same appears to be tr…………… continues on MSN Money

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Credit Card Debt Fell While Delinquencies Rose in 4Q: Report
News from American Banker:

Americans racked up less credit card debt in the fourth quarter but more people fell behind on their payments.

Average credit card debt per borrower fell 1.6% from a year earlier, to $ 5,122, while the share of borrowers whose loans were at least 90 days past due rose seven basis points, to 0.85%, the credit agency TransUnion said Wednesday.

That compares with an average 90-day delinquency rate of 1.06% and average credit card debt per borrower of $ 5,389 during the fourth quarter over a 10-year period starting in 2003.

“The fourth quarter traditionally results in higher credit card balances and delinquencies, much of it to do with the holiday shopping season,” Ezra Becker, vice president of research and consulting in TransUnion’s financial services business unit, said in a press release. “Both credit card delinquencies and balances are below historic norms.”

Borrowers in Alaska ($ 7,012), Connecticut ($ 5,820) and Colorado ($ 5,792) carried the highest credit card debt in the nation in the fourth quarter, while borrowers in Iowa ($ 4,048), North Dakota ($ 4,179), and South Dakota ($ 4,30…………… continues on American Banker

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