You might not think it sometimes, but the British seem to be a sensible lot. Well, that is how it seems from our recent behaviour as borrowers.
Last week Barclays hoisted an alarm about the " delinquent" behaviour of Barclaycard borrowers. This was taken as dire news about the banks receiving the comeuppance they deserve for throwing money recklessly at borrowers who cannot afford to pay it back.
Nobody thought to congratulate those borrowers on their good sense in giving priority to their mortgage repayments and letting Barclaycard - which has no claim on their homes - take the strain. In the last credit crunch nearly 15 years ago there was less of this astute behaviour.
Then yesterday came a bunch of numbers from the Bank of England showing a similar, re-assuring pattern. Mortgage lending and the number of mortgages approved for would-be homebuyers both bounced back in April, while credit cards endured something like a squeeze.
The big banks, indeed, said that more money was paid back on their cards than was borrowed, the first time this has happened for more than ten years. Unsurprisingly, the shopkeepers don't like it, but you can hardly blame cardholders for a spell of prudence after the credit binge we have experienced on the back of prolonged low interest rates.
The astonishing thing is that this bout of plasticshunning has been accompanied by a revival of mortgage lending. Reports of the death of the housing market are turning out to be like those of the death of Mark Twain, exaggerated.
What we don't know about these mortgages is whether there has been any revival in the number of them going to first-time buyers and whether the flurry of activity they indicate is going to set house prices alight again. We must hope that it doesn't.
With that proviso, you could scarcely have looked for a softer landing - so far.
While thinking of credit cards, consider this. "Rate tarts" are more prevalent in the West Midlands (and Yorkshire/Humberside) than anywhere else in the country.
(For those who don't follow this unattractive terminology a "rate tart" is someone who pursues relentlessly the most favourable interest rates going, in this instance 0% offers by credit card companies.)
More precisely, a large survey by Morgan Stanley found that 13 per cent of those questioned in these two regions said they intend to switch to a new credit card within three months. That compares with two per cent in Wales and Scotland and eight per cent nationally.
The card companies are peeved with this activity and are threatening to impose fees. Providing free credit for people who have run up uncomfortably large balances makes sense only if these cardholders remain both solvent and casual, so that they forget when their free run is over and fail to take up some other company's generous 0% per cent.
West Midlanders, it seems, are just more thorough than the rest. What we don't know is how many manage to clear the debt before the full rate cuts in.