The credit card delinquency rate-the percentage of accounts at least 30 days past due-rose in the first quarter, but in terms of dollars the statistic improved.

As tracked in the American Bankers Association's quarterly compilation of banks' consumer loan performance, 3.58% of credit card accounts were overdue on March 31. It was the fourth-highest reading among ABA figures dating back to 1980. It was up from 3.45% in the fourth quarter and 3.11% in the first quarter last year.

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