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Interest Rates and Loan Maturities Increased in February, Reports Fed

April 7, 2008

Consumer credit in February increased at an annual rate of 2.4 percent, up by $5 million compared to January. Nonrevolving credit, which includes automotive loans, rose at a 0.4-percent rate in February.

Interest rates for new-car loans at auto finance companies continued a three-month upward trend, jumping to 5.37 percent from 4.97 percent in January and 4.33 percent in December.

Loan maturity increased to 63.2 months in February vs. 62.3 months in January. Loan-to-value ratio increased from 94 percent in January to 95 percent in February, but amount financed fell by $113 to $28,118 in February.

Outstanding nonrevolving consumer credit fell by $8.6 billion between January and February, to $1.59 trillion. Finance companies made up the majority of that with $490 billion, down almost $2 billion from January.

Outstanding credit at commercial banks made up the second largest segment at $469 billion in February, a $2.5 billion drop from the previous month. Pools of securitized assets accounted for $230 billion, down about $2 billion from January as well.

Outstanding consumer credit at credit unions was down $1.5 billion from January vs. February, making up almost $202 billion of the total.

Federal government and Sallie Mae made up almost $103 billion of outstanding consumer credit, a $7 million increase from January. Nonfinancial business and savings institutions made up the least amount of outstanding consumer credit, with $48 billion and $46 billion, respectively.

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