Data through February 2013, released 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 a decrease in national default rates during the month. The national composite was 1.55 percent in February, down from 1.63 percent in January. The first mortgage default rate moved down to 1.48 percent in February, from 1.58 percent in January. The bank card rate was 3.37 percent in February vs. 3.41 percent in January. The second mortgage and auto loan default rates increased in February posting 0.71 percent and 1.11 percent; they were marginally up from their respective 0.69 percent and 1.10 percent January levels.
“Consumer credit quality remains healthy,” said David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee for S&P Dow Jones Indices. “The first mortgage and bank card default rates moved down, the second mortgage and auto loans were marginally up in February. All loan types remain below their respective levels a year ago.
“These trends are consistent with other economic news – improvements in employment and overall economic activity and continuing gains in housing. Additionally, foreclosure activity continues to decline even though it remains at elevated levels compared to the period before the financial crisis.”