CHART: S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Rates Remain at Pre-Financial Crisis Levels

Consumer credit default rates, as reflected by the S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices, are back at pre-financial crisis levels. In October 2013, the S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Composite Index was unchanged at 1.38%, near its all-time low of 1.03% in May 2006 and below the 1.70% level hit in June 2007, a month before two Bear Stearns credit hedge funds failed. Below is data from the release and a chart comparing the national composite default rate, auto loan default rate, and first and second mortgage default rates since 2008 (I excluded the bank card default rate). Keep a close eye on the chart to see when default rates start to tick higher. I wonder what the catalyst will be. The end of QE? Tightening?

Source: S&P Dow Jones Indices

New York, November 19, 2013 – Data through October 2013, released today by S&P Dow Jones Indices and Experian for the S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices, a comprehensive measure of changes in consumer credit defaults, showed stability in national default rates during the month. The national composite was 1.38% in October; it showed no change since September. The first mortgage default rate was 1.30% this month, marginally up from 1.28% posted last month. The second mortgage posted 0.72% in October, slightly up from 0.69% September rate. The auto loan default rate was 1.14% in October, marginally down from a 1.15% posted in the previous month. The bank card rate posted 2.97% in October; down from 3.14% September rate.

“Consumer financial well-being is in a good shape”, says David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee for S&P Dow Jones Indices. “The indices remain at pre-financial crisis levels and are stable. The national composite remained flat since September at 1.38%.The first and second mortgages were a few basis points up in October; they posted 1.30% and 0.72%. Auto loan default rate was 1.14%, one basis point lower than in September. Bank card default rate reached a new low of 2.97%; for the first time in the history of the index it was below 3%. The Composite, first mortgage and bank card default rates remain below their respective levels a year ago.

“Three cities – Chicago, Los Angeles and New York – saw default rate decreases. Los Angeles posted a recent low of 1.25%. Miami remained flat. Dallas posted a default rate increase. All cities except Miami posted rates below 2%. Miami has a highest rate among the five cities we cover (2.11%) and Los Angeles - the lowest (1.25%). Four cities Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and New York - remain below default rates they posted a year ago, in October 2012.”

The table below summarizes the October 2013 results for the S&P/Experian Credit Default Indices. These data are not seasonally adjusted and are not subject to revision.

The table below provides the S&P/Experian Consumer Default Composite Indices for the five MSAs:

Data Source: S&P Dow Jones Indices

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