Americans seeking a consumer credit report
in recent months may be noticing an improvement, as a recent report from Experian and Standard & Poor's suggests many are beginning to pay off their debts and strengthen their finances.
According to the report, credit card default rates slipped last month to hit 5.26 percent, down from 5.64 percent the month before. First mortgage default rates also declined slightly to reach 1.92 percent. The data suggest consumers are beginning to rein in spending and incur less debt in the face of ongoing economic uncertainty, high unemployment and low wage growth. While this means stronger consumer finances, it also suggests a lack of activity in the marketplace. "While there were some moderately mixed results, the overall picture is broadly optimistic," said David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Indices. "All indices show default rates well below where they were in the 2008/09 recession, and some are still falling." Bank cards usually have the highest default rates, Blitzer added, so August's decline is a good sign for American consumers.