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ABA Report: Credit Card Delinquencies Fall as Other Consumer Delinquencies Rise Slightly

WASHINGTON —

Consumer credit delinquencies were mixed in the second quarter, with delinquencies falling for bank cards (credit cards provided by banks) and rising for the composite index of closed-end loans, according to results from the American Bankers Association’s Consumer Credit Delinquency Bulletin. Overall, delinquencies rose in eight of the 11 categories tracked by ABA while three categories fell.

 

 

The composite ratio, which tracks delinquencies in eight closed-end installment loan categories, rose 10 basis points to 1.88 percent of all accounts. It remains well below the pre-recession average of 2.09 percent (from the first quarter of 2002 to the third quarter of 2007). (See Historical Graphics) The ABA report defines a delinquency as a late payment that is 30 days or more overdue.

“Despite some fluctuations, particularly in the auto and home-related sectors, the picture for delinquencies is generally positive,” said James Chessen, ABA’s chief economist. “A strong job market and rising wages have provided a solid base for consumers that has kept delinquencies near historically low levels.”

Delinquencies in bank cards fell six basis points to 2.98 percent of all accounts, dipping further below the pre-recession average of 4.33 percent.

“Consumers have been successful at managing debt and meeting their obligations,” Chessen said. “At the same time, banks continue to monitor potential headwinds and adjust their underwriting standards accordingly.” (See Economic Charts)

Delinquencies rose in two home-related categories and fell in one. Home equity line of credit delinquencies fell four basis points to 1.06 percent of all accounts, among its lowest post-recession levels but above the pre-recession average of 0.53 percent. Home equity loan delinquencies rose seven basis points to 2.75 percent of all accounts, above the pre-recession average of 2.12 percent. Property improvement loan delinquencies rose 10 basis points to 1.29 percent of all accounts, but remain well below the pre-recession average of 1.65 percent.

Delinquencies in direct auto loans (those arranged directly through a bank) rose three basis points to 1.12 percent of all accounts, remaining well below the pre-recession average of 2.09 percent. Delinquencies in indirect auto loans (those arranged through a third party such as an auto dealer) rose 13 basis points to 2.23 percent of all accounts, above the pre-recession average of 2.03 percent.

Chessen expects delinquencies to hover around current levels in the near term.

“Maintaining a robust job market and strong income levels will help keep future delinquencies at low levels,” Chessen said. “Nearly 15 million jobs have been created over the last six years, which has boosted income and made it easier for consumers to meet their obligations. Consumers are spending in line with their income as they make concerted efforts to increase their savings. This all adds up to a healthy and strong consumer sector.”

The second quarter composite ratio is made up of the following eight closed-end loans. All figures are seasonally adjusted based upon the number of accounts.

CLOSED-END LOANS

  • Composite Ratio rose from 1.78 percent to 1.88 percent.
  • Mobile home delinquencies fell from 3.63 percent to 3.31 percent.
  • Direct auto loan delinquencies rose from 1.09 percent to 1.12 percent.
  • Home equity loan delinquencies rose from 2.68 percent to 2.75 percent.
  • Indirect auto loan delinquencies rose from 2.10 percent to 2.23 percent.
  • Marine loan delinquencies rose from 0.68 percent to 0.69 percent.
  • Personal loan delinquencies rose from 0.90 percent to 1.02 percent.
  • RV loan delinquencies rose from 0.77 percent to 0.83 percent.
  • Property improvement loan delinquencies rose from 1.19 percent to 1.29 percent.

In addition, ABA tracks three open-end loan categories:

OPEN-END LOANS

  • Bank card delinquencies fell from 3.04 percent to 2.98 percent.
  • Home equity lines of credit delinquencies fell from 1.10 percent to 1.06 percent.
  • Non-card revolving loan delinquencies rose from 1.66 percent to 1.71 percent.

Consumer Tips

For borrowers having trouble paying down debts, ABA advises taking action -- sooner rather than later -- to solve debt problems. Proven tips are listed below. Additional consumer information on budgeting, saving, managing credit and more is available at ABA.com/Consumers.

  • Contact Consumer Credit Counseling Services at 1-800-388-2227;
  • Talk with creditors – the sooner you talk to them, the more options you have; and
  • Don’t charge more purchases until your problems are solved.

Glossary

  • Indirect auto loan: loan arranged through a third party such as an auto dealer.
  • Direct auto loan: loan arranged directly through a bank.
  • Delinquency: late payment that is 30 days or more overdue.
  • Bank card: a credit card provided by a bank.
  • Closed-end loan: a loan for a fixed amount of money with a fixed repayment period and regularly scheduled payments.
  • Open-end loan: a loan with a fixed amount of available credit but a balance that fluctuates depending on usage such as a line of credit.
  • Non-card revolving loan: an unsecured, open-end loan that is not linked to a credit card. Examples may include lines of credit for overdraft protection or check credit.

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About the American Bankers Association

The American Bankers Association is the voice of the nation’s $18 trillion banking industry, which is composed of small, regional and large banks. Together, America’s banks employ more than 2 million men and women, safeguard $14 trillion in deposits and extend more than $10 trillion in loans.

Press Contact

Mike Townsend

(202) 663-5471

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