Credit extended to consumers in January rose for the first time since July 2008, according to the Federal Reserve’s monthly report, providing further evidence that both lenders and consumers are feeling better than they did a year ago.
Consumer credit increased at an annual rate of 2.5 percent in January, with non-revolving credit, which includes auto loans, increasing at an annual rate of 5 percent. The only decrease was seen in the revolving credit category, which fell at an annual rate of 2.25 percent.
Interest rates edged up to 3.94 percent in January after falling from 3.73 percent in November to 3.26 percent in December.
Loan terms dropped slightly from 64 months in December to 63.5 months in December. The loan-to-value ratio on new-car loans dipped to 90 percent in January, down from 92 percent in December 2009.
Amount financed fell from $30,598 in December to $28,379 in January, a difference of $1219.