U.S. credit-card holders continued to pay off their balances at historically strong rates in November, defying predictions that delinquencies would rise as the economy improved and card issuers took on more risk.

The sustained low credit card delinquency rates suggest that two trends are lingering in the wake of the financial crisis: consumers remain cautious about overextending themselves, and card issuers are still wary of offering credit to those less likely to repay.

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