Auto, Student Lending Each Rise More than 10%: Equifax

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Student and auto lending surged in the 12-month period ended in July, according to an Equifax report released Thursday.

The total balance on federal and private student loans increased to $884.2 billion in July 2013, up 11.3% from a year earlier, according to the Atlanta credit bureau's National Consumer Credit Trends Report.

However, Americans also took out fewer student loans in the first half of the year. The total number of loans originated between January and May fell 9.3%, to 4.2 million.

Auto loans rose 10.9%, to $826.8 billion in July from a year earlier.

Meanwhile, bank credit card balances rose for the first time in five years to $536.6 billion, but the increase was a scant 0.6%. New credit opened between January and May rose 6%, to $77.7 billion—the highest level since 2008.

"In all other segments, consumers are reducing their debt burdens," Equifax Chief Economist Amy Crews Cutts said in a press release. Total balances on first mortgages, home-equity installments and home-equity revolving all fell. Severely delinquent balances for each loan type were at five-year lows.

While foreclosures and bankruptcies contributed to some of the debt reduction, Cutts said that payoffs primarily drove the decrease.

"We expect mortgage balances to begin rising again over the next several months as new home purchase loans overtake foreclosures and payoffs," she said.

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