Consumer credit delinquencies fell to a record low in the second quarter of 2021 as the economy continued to rebound, according to results from the American Bankers Association’s latest Consumer Credit Delinquency Bulletin. Overall, delinquencies fell in nine of the 11 loan categories tracked by ABA when compared to the previous quarter.
The composite ratio, which tracks delinquencies in eight closed-end installment loan categories, fell 69 basis points in the second quarter to 1.21% of all accounts – the lowest level recorded since ABA began tracking this data in 1993. (See Historical Data). The ABA report defines a delinquency as a late payment that is 30 days or more overdue.
“Consumers’ financial health generally continued to strengthen in the second quarter due to the robust jobs recovery and another round of federal stimulus payments,” said ABA Chief Economist and Head of Research Sayee Srinivasan. “These factors helped households shore up savings and meet their financial obligations.”
Delinquencies in bank cards (credit cards issued by banks) fell 67 basis points to 1.38% of all accounts in the second quarter, the lowest level for this category since ABA began tracking this data in 1993.
“Consumers have remained focused on keeping credit card balances manageable and spending within their means,” Srinivasan said. (See Economic Charts) “Despite the extraordinary challenges posed by the pandemic, card delinquencies have remained at low levels in recent quarters.”
Delinquencies fell in two home-related categories and ticked up in one category in the second quarter. Home equity loan delinquencies fell 103 basis points to 3.42% all accounts. Home equity line of credit delinquencies fell 20 basis points to 1.51% of all accounts. Property improvement loan delinquencies rose 1 basis point to 1.09% in the second quarter.
Delinquencies in direct auto loans (those arranged directly through a bank) fell 40 basis points to 1.45% of all accounts in the second quarter. Delinquencies in indirect auto loans (those arranged through a third party such as an auto dealer) fell 1 basis point to 2.09% of all accounts in the second quarter, falling further below the category’s pre-COVID level of 2.56% in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Srinivasan noted that the COVID-19 pandemic remains a significant economic factor to watch.
“While the second quarter delinquency data was extremely promising, the Delta variant has added volatility to the economic outlook since then,” Srinivasan said. “Many consumers continue to struggle even as the economy finds its footing, but banks remain dedicated to helping their customers navigate their financial challenges.”
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.
In addition, ABA tracks three open-end loan categories:
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.
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.
About the American Bankers Association
The American Bankers Association is the voice of the nation’s $23.6 trillion banking industry, which is composed of small, regional and large banks that together employ more than 2 million people, safeguard $19.4 trillion in deposits and extend $12 trillion in loans.