NEW YORK CITY (4/18/14)--Credit throughout the U.S. appears to be on the mend, as credit default numbers across the board dropped in March, according to the S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices (Experian.com April 15).
The composite index, which comprises all credit types, recorded its lowest post-recession rate last month at 1.2%. First mortgage default rates fell to 1.3%, the lowest since September 2006, and second-mortgage defaults fell to 0.6%.
Both auto loan and bank card credit default rates experienced historic lows in March as well, at 0.99% and 2.73% respectively.
"Along with signs that the economy is improving, consumer credit default rates continue to gradually decline," said David M. Blitzer, S&P Dow Jones Indices Index Committee chair and managing director.
The indices also track five major metropolitan statistical areas: New York, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and Miami. All five saw decreases in credit default rates and have seen substantial improvements over levels in March of last year.
Improvements in consumer confidence and the labor market, as well as a boost in retail sales, may have driven the decline. Default rates have fallen to pre-recession levels, the report said.
Rising levels of auto and student loans, meanwhile, could lead to higher levels of default in the near future, according to Experian.com.