Consumer Delinquencies Dip in First Quarter

Delinquencies in closed-end loans and bank cards edged down in the first quarter, driven by large declines in home loan-related delinquencies, according to the ABA Consumer Credit Delinquency Bulletin that was released today. Delinquencies fell in five of the 11 loan categories and remained unchanged in two others.

The composite ratio, which tracks delinquencies in eight closed-end installment loan categories, dipped by one basis point to 1.53 percent of all accounts — well under the 15-year average of 2.28 percent. Bank card delinquencies fell by three basis points to 2.49 percent of all accounts, also well below their 15-year average of 3.76 percent. ABA Chief Economist James Chessen remarked that credit card delinquencies have remained “remarkably stable at historically low rates.”

Delinquencies in all three home-related categories — home equity loans, HELOCs and property improvement loans — trended downward, with HELOC delinquencies dropping by 11 basis points. “Home equity loan and line delinquencies are tracking the slow and steady improvements in the housing market,” said Chessen. “Greater household wealth and income gives consumers more breathing room to meet their financial obligations.”