Consumer-credit scores are holding up better than one might expect, given the surge in home foreclosures and rising delinquencies on other...

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Consumer-credit scores are holding up better than one might expect, given the surge in home foreclosures and rising delinquencies on other loans.

“A vast majority of consumers are paying all their bills on time, are not embroiled in the housing-market mess and have not lost their jobs,” says Myra Hart, an executive with Equifax.

Still, “the broader trend is very slightly downward,” Hart says.

A seasonal effect plays a role. Credit scores often decline in the second half after rising early in the year, as tax refunds are received and New Year’s resolutions are made to pay down debt, Hart says.