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S&P/Experian: Consumer default rates climb in November

Dec 24, 2011 Philip Burgess

The national composite consumer default rate rose slightly in November over the previous month, according to the most recent S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices. Gains in the default rates of first mortgage and bank card dues drove up the composite rate from 2.15 percent in October to 2.22 percent in November. Since August, first mortgage default rates have increased from 1.92 percent to 2.17 percent in November. The composite rate has also risen in each of those three months, climbing from 2.04 percent to 2.22 percent. "These figures are not too surprising given some of the weak housing statistics we have seen over the past few months," said David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices. "We also saw an increase in bank card default rates in November; but the October decline was so large that the November 4.91 percent is still well below the default rates we saw in late 2009 and early 2010." Default rates on auto loans and second mortgages dropped in November. A recent TransUnion report projected that auto loan delinquencies will hover around record-lows throughout most of next year. This may incite lenders to loosen their credit decisions.