NEW YORK - More American consumers have been paying their credit card bills on time, according to an indicator published by Moody's Investors Service.

In April, 5.27% of receivables in Moody's-rated portfolios were delinquent.

The delinquency rate was down from 5.50% in March and 5.69% in April 1992.

The chargeoff rate - loans actually written off as uncollectible - in the securitized pools of card receivables dropped to 5.19% in April from 5.29% in March and 5.93% in April 1992, Moody's Credit Card Performance Index said.

Impact of Lower-Rate Cards

For the 11th consecutive month, principal payment rates in the pools rose compared with year-earlier levels, this time to 12.19% from 10.93% in April 1992.

Moody's attributed the overall improvement in the indexes primarily to the economic recovery in the United States.

"Another factor contributing to the high payment rate may be the availability of lower interest rate credit cards," said Ed Bankole, a Moody's senior analyst. "Some people may simply be rolling their balances over from one card to another."

The Moody's data are based on performance of 68 of the more than $58 billion of bank credit card-backed securities rated and monitored by Moody's.

Each of the transactions in the index sample has been outstanding for at least one year.

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