S&P/Experian: July Auto Loan Defaults Sink to Lowest Point in Eight Years
August 24, 2012
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NEW YORK — Data through July showed auto loan defaults
dropped to the lowest point in the eight-year history of the S&P/Experian
Consumer Credit Default Indices, a comprehensive measure of changes in consumer
July's auto rate dipped to 1.01 percent, down from the June reading of 1.04 percent and the mark noted a year earlier, 1.27 percent.
Analysts also found that most loan types saw a decrease in default rates, including the composite rate ticking down now for the seventh consecutive month.
Four of the five loan types posted their lowest rates since the end of the 2007/2009 recession as only second mortgage defaults increased marginally from 0.73 percent in June to 0.75 percent in July.
Bank card default rate had the largest drop in July, dropping to 3.83 percent from June's reading of 3.97 percent. The first mortgage default rate was constant at 1.41 percent, keeping the recent low it posted in June.
Furthermore, the July national composite experienced a slight decrease, ticking down to 1.51 percent from 1.52 percent a month earlier.
"While continuing to show decreasing default rates, most of the changes in July were small compared to the magnitude of decline we had seen in the first six months of the year," explained David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the Index Committee for S&P Dow Jones Indices.
"Consumer default rates showed small movement from June to July, in most cases the trend continued down or flat, as the consumer's financial condition continues to improve," Blitzer continued.
"Auto loans rates hit an eight year historic low in July at 1.01 percent," he went on to say. "Last month we saw a historic low for second mortgage default rates, but they rose by two basis points in July to 0.75 percent, still an impressively low number.
"The first mortgage default rate didn't change, but that was after six consecutive months of decline, another statistic that bodes well for the consumer," Blitzer added. "Bank card default rates fell the most in July, down 14 basis points to 3.83 percent, the lowest rate it has seen since August 2007, almost five years ago.
Looking at the data by metropolitan area, analysts discovered Miami and New York posted default rates drops and reached post-recession lows.
Miami continued on its steady path down to 2.39 percent from 2.44 percent a month earlier.
After June's increase, New York's rate fell 15 basis points from 1.64 percent to 1.49 percent.
Chicago's rate did not change, but Blitzer pointed out the city's rate of 1.84 percent was also a recent low.
Blitzer acknowledged Dallas' default rate rose from 0.87 percent to 0.98 percent and Los Angeles from 1.60 percent to 1.67 percent.
"Looking at the rate of new defaults in mortgages or auto loans, the consumers' credit position has recovered from the financial crisis," Blitzer declared.
"However, other data show that previously defaulted mortgages remain an issue and many consumers still face an overhang from old debts," he continued. "Bank card trends are also favorable although the experience of the last eight years is more variable."
Jointly developed by S&P Indices and Experian, Blitzer reiterated the S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices are published monthly with the intent to accurately track the default experience of consumer balances in four key loan categories: auto, bankcard, first mortgage lien and second mortgage lien.
The indices are calculated based on data extracted from Experian's consumer credit database. This database is populated with individual consumer loan and payment data submitted by lenders to Experian every month.
Experian's base of data contributors includes leading banks and mortgage companies and covers approximately $11 trillion in outstanding loans sourced from 11,500 lenders.
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