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Default Rates Increased in August

September 23, 2015

NEW YORK — Default rates inched up in August across multiple consumer credit categories including auto loans and mortgages, according to data released by S&P Dow Jones Indices and Experian.

The S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices, a comprehensive measure of chances in consumer credit defaults, showed that the composite rate was 0.96% in August — up four basis points from the previous month. The first mortgage default rate and the auto loan default rate also increased four basis points to 0.84% and 0.90%, respectively. The bank card default rate was the only rate to report a decrease in August at 2.71%, down eight basis points from July.

“The ongoing improvement in the consumer economy is reflected in consumer credit default rates,” said David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “In recent months, we have seen substantial job growth, increases in consumer spending, and a rise in consumer credit outstanding. Despite continued weak wage growth, consumer credit default rates remain in a narrow range at low pre-financial crisis levels.”

Blitzer also noted that auto sales and housing have been strong, with car and light truck sales reaching an annual rate of about 17.5 million units, just as sales of new homes and housing have started to pick up.

“To reflect that the growth in credit is largely due to loosening of credit standards indicating banks are willing to bear increased risk by approving more sub-prime consumers — which will lead the higher default rates,” he said.

 S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices National Indices

Index August 2015 Index Level July 2015 Index Level August 2014 Index Level
Composite 0.96 0.92 1.03
First Mortgage 0.84 0.80 0.91
Second Mortgage 0.57 0.55 0.51
Bank Card 2.71 2.79 2.73
Auto Loan 0.90 0.86 1.00

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