The S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices, which measure changes in consumer credit defaults, showed a decline in all five measured areas in March, with the national composite hitting its lowest post-recession rate.
The default rate for first mortgages hit its lowest level since September of 2006, dropping to 1.13%. The default rate for second mortgages was also down, dropping to 0.60% last month from 0.69% in February. Auto loan and bank card default rates also dropped last month, according to Experian. overall, consumer default rates appear to have stabilized at levels similar to those recorded prior to the financial meltdown.
“Along with signs that the economy is improving, consumer credit default rates continue to gradually decline," said David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the Index Committee for S&P Dow Jones Indices.
The lowering default rates may reflect a broader economic trend, according to Experian. Consumer confidence and the labor market have both seen recent gains as fewer applicants filed for unemployment benefits. Retail sales were also up in March, Experian reported.
Credit default rates, including mortgage defaults, were down nationally in March for the second straight month, according to data released today.