U.S. credit card customers have become so diligent in making their payments that some are beginning to question whether the industry has entered a prolonged era of low chargeoffs and low delinquencies.

The conventional wisdom is that the trend will recede as the economy improves, consumers take on more debt and card issuers make more credit available to marginal borrowers. But high payment rates persist, leading some to wonder whether the changes will endure.

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