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S&P/Experian: Auto Loan Default Rate Rises in September

October 18, 2012

NEW YORK —The S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices showed a drop in default rates for four out of five types through September. The only one to rise was auto.

Default rates for four of the loan types reviewed fell to their lowest level since the 2007-2009 recession. The auto loan default rate, however, rose from 1.09 percent in August to 1.11 percent in September, but the chairman of the index committee for S&P Down Jones Indexes didn’t seem concerned. 

"This is still a decent number, as the historic low for [auto] loans was 1.01 percent posted just two months ago in July,” said David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee for S&P Dow Jones Indices.

Bank card, first and second mortgage and composite default rates hit new post-recession lows. Falling from 1.4 percent in August to 1.36 percent in September, the first mortgage default rate has been down or flat for nine consecutive months, another positive housing market statistic. The second mortgage default rate dropped to its lowest level in its eight-year history at 0.64 percent, while the composite index also fell to a post-recession low of 1.46 percent, decreasing from August’s read of 1.5 percent.

“We think it is very fair to say that 2012 has proven to be a period of financial repair for consumers," says Blitzer. "Consumers' financial condition continues to improve as witnessed by these declining credit default rates.

The five cities reviewed by the S&P all showed a decrease in their default rates, with rates in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles falling to post-recession lows. Chicago's rate was 1.82 percent in September, down from 1.92 percent in August. Los Angeles realized its second consecutive monthly decrease, down to 1.45 percent in September from August's 1.6 percent. New York's default rate fell the most., falling 21 basis points from August’s reading to 1.28 percent.

Dallas and Miami also realized major drops in their default rates. Dallas' September rate was 1.03 percent, down four basis points from August. Miami's rate fell by 14 basis points to 2.48 percent in September. It wasn’t a new low, but the rate is down considerably from the 18.89 percent rate witnessed in May 2009.

"There is no doubt that, from a borrowing perspective, the consumer is in a much better place than two or three years ago,” the company wrote in a press release. “We have seen broad-based declining trends in default rates through all of 2012, and all markets and loan types are at or near pre-recession lows. For some of these markets, such as Miami, the difference in the past three years has been quite extraordinary."

The table below summarizes the September 2012 results for the S&P/Experian Credit Default Indices. These data are not seasonally adjusted and are not subject to revision.

S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices

 

National Indices

 

 Index

September 2012 Index Level

August 2012 Index Level

September 2011 Index Level

 
       

 

 Composite

1.46

1.50

2.10

       

 

 First Mortgage

1.36

1.40

1.99

       

 

 Second Mortgage

0.64

0.72

1.32

       

 

 Bank Card

3.70

3.77

5.36

       

 

 Auto Loans

1.11

1.09

1.29

       

 

                             Source: S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices

       

 

                             Data through September 2012

           

 

The table below provides the S&P/Experian Consumer Default Composite Indices for the five MSAs:

         
         
 

Metropolitan Statistical Area

September 2012 Index Level

August 2012 Index Level

September 2011 Index Level

 
 

New York

1.28

1.49

2.01

 

Chicago

1.82

1.92

2.47

 

Dallas

1.03

1.07

1.33

 

Los Angeles

1.45

1.60

2.12

 

Miami

2.48

2.62

4.59

 

                             Source: S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices

 

                             Data through September 2012

 

 

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