Consumer Debt is Rising Again
Consumer debt has reached pre-recession levels, according to the Equifax National Credit Trends Report.
Consumer debit is now $11.2 trillion, almost the same as the $11.1 posted in 2006, before the recession began. This may be a sign that some consumers are again taking on too much debt and are a higher risk of default in the future.
The September credit card delinquency rates also hinted at this. Those rates increased slightly for five of the top six card issuers. These increases were relatively small but it broke the trend of declining delinquency rates that the industry had recently experienced.
Other findings from the report:
* New consumer credit (auto loans, credit cards, consumer finance loans, home equity lines, and student loans) originated between January-July 2011, was $436 billion, the highest total for that period in three years.
* Consumers are beginning to use credit cards more, and as a result, balances increased from June-September 2011.
* Loans originated between 2005-2007 are still a challenge with ongoing delinquencies. Loans from this time represent 31% of total balances, but 65% of all past due (30-plus days) balances.