The Consumer Bankers Association praised banks' discipline on managing credit quality for student loans after a report showed a drop in delinquencies.

Both early- and late-stage delinquencies fell in the first quarter, compared to a year ago, according to MeasureOne's Private Student Loan Performance Report. The rate of early-stage delinquencies, in which loans are 30 to 89 days past due, fell 38 basis points to 2.61%. Serious delinquencies, loans at least 90 days past due, fell by 34 basis points to 2.20%.

Net charge-offs declined 46 basis points to 2.71%.

"Banks are working in a responsible manner with students," Richard Hunt, the Consumer Bankers Association's chief executive, said in a news release. "The private student loan market, though small, continues to operate in a thoughtful way."

MeasureOne's report analyzed data from the six participants in the organization's Private Student Loan Consortium, who together represent 71% of the total outstanding balance of private student loans. The lenders are Citizens Financial Group, Discover Financial Services, Navient, PNC Financial Services Group, Sallie Mae and Wells Fargo.

"The private student loan market is back to its pre-crisis levels in terms of high repayment rates and low delinquency rates," said Dan Feshbach, MeasureOne's chief executive.

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