Borrowers paying off credit cards before mortgages

Published: Monday, March 26 2012 4:25 p.m. MDT

FILE - This July 30, 2008, file photo, shows credit card stickers posted at a bowling alley in Palo Alto, Calif.

Associated Press

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For U.S. borrowers, credit cards are king.

Consumers are breaking tradition and paying off their credit card debts before their mortgages, according to Fox News.

Charlie Wise, research director for credit-reporting firm TransUnion, told Fox News that his company’s Credit Risk Index registered a rise in the amount of credit risk consumers have taken in 2011.

It’s mortgage delinquencies that have caused the rise in risk.

Typically, troubled debtors would default on their credit cards first, then on auto loans and mortgages last. But this is reversing.

Those in debt are more concerned about preserving their credit than keep their house because of falling real estate prices, according to Fox News. A lot of people now view their home as a liability rather than an asset.

Credit card holders are also being more prudent in order to create more cushion in case they need it.

EMAIL: jferguson@desnews.com

TWITTER: @joeyferguson

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