The latest Equifax National Consumer Credit Trends Report shows that the total amount of new non-mortgage, non-student loan credit originated year-to-date through May, is $365 billion. That's a six-year high and an increase of more than 11% from same time a year ago.

New credit originations in these categories include auto, bank- and retail-issued credit cards and consumer finance loans (which are unsecured loans used for a variety of purposes).

New credit with year-over-year increases includes:

  • Auto: $210.5 billion (7.1%)
  • Bank-issued credit cards: $97.4 billion (25.4%)
  • Retail-issued credit cards: $28.8 billion (1.6%)
  • Consumer finance: $28.3 billion (8.4%)

"The rebuilding of America’s credit continues," said Amy Cutts, chief economist at Equifax. "The latest data shows broad based increases in both the total number and total dollars of new loans originated. This reflects the steady improvement in the economy, but at the same time also shows how fickle consumer demand for new credit is this late into the recovery. We’re only now exceeding previous highs in the auto lending sector while balances on credit cards remain well-below pre-recession highs despite rapidly increasing interest in new cards."
The total number of new bank-issued cards year-to-date in May is 19.7 million, a six-year high and an increase of 18.5% from the same time a year ago, according to the report.

The total balance of bank card credit outstanding in July 2014 was $550 billion, a year-over-year increase of 2.5%. The total balance of available credit is $2.54 trillion, a year-over-year increase of 5% and a 59-month high.

The total number of new retail card accounts issued from January through May is 15.2 million, the highest since 2008. There are more than 194 million loans outstanding, a 63-month high, and a total outstanding balance of $58.6 billion.

The total outstanding balance for retail issued credit cards increased 4.6% from the same time a year ago and marks the first time this year that balances increased for three consecutive months.

Equifax also recently released data from the report showing that credit card debt is rising across the largest metro areas. Nationally, credit card debt levels rose from $586.8 trillion in the second quarter of 2013 to $604 trillion in the most recent quarter, a nearly 3% increase.

According to Equifax, the rise in credit card debt is due, in part, to lenders who are increasingly issuing credit cards to consumers with subprime credit scores. One out of every three new cards is issued to an individual with a subprime score, compared to one in four immediately following the recession.


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