Data through April released by S&P Dow Jones Indices and Experian shows a consumer credit default composite rate of 0.86% in April, down seven basis points from March.
First mortgage defaults reported a 0.69% rate for April, down eight basis points from March. Auto loan defaults recorded a 0.97% default rate, down five basis points from March. The bank card default rate increased 17 basis points in April and 60 basis points year-to-date, recording a default rate of 3.09%, according to the S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices, a comprehensive measure of changes in consumer credit defaults.
"For two months, the overall consumer credit default rate has dropped to new lows while the default rate on bank cards has climbed," said David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. "Since the financial crisis, consumers are paying more attention to their debts, particularly longer term financial commitments such as homes and autos. The Mortgage Debt Service Ratio – the percentage of disposable income going to service mortgage debt – is at its lowest point since 1980. The Total Debt Service Ratio, which includes loans with scheduled payments, is close to a record low. The savings rate is now at about 5% of disposable income, slightly higher than its level in 2004-2006.
"In contrast to the low default rates on mortgages and auto loans, bank cards recently showed increased default rates. The longer term post-crisis decline in the bank card default rate leveled off in 2014. Since then, it has been in a range of 2.5% to 3.2%. Bank card, auto and mortgage default rates are all lower than their pre-financial crisis levels. However, the bank card rate is more volatile than the others and more sensitive to consumer spending trends. Whether the default pattern for bank cards stabilizes remains to be seen,” he said.Among larger U.S. cities, Miami reported a default rate of 1.21%, up six basis points from March. New York recorded a default rate of 1.01% in April, up two basis points from March. Dallas reported a default rate of 0.76%, a one basis point increase from March. Chicago's default rate remained flat at 1.03% in April and Los Angeles was the only city to report a default rate decrease, with a 0.71% default rate, down 10 basis points from March.