"TransUnion's forecasting models have performed well in tracking the national and state 60-day auto delinquency rates, which are driven by economic factors such as per capita disposable income, consumer confidence, unemployment rates, and demand for motor vehicles. Despite the current improving economic cycle, the seasonal ups and downs of auto loan delinquency rates -- common in the industry -- should continue throughout 2011.
"Because of improving employment and consumer confidence our forecast for the last quarter of 2011 suggests that the auto delinquency rate will continue to improve, declining between 15 to 20 percent from today's rate."
Peter Turek, automotive vice president in TransUnion's financial services group
Q1 2011 Overview of U.S. Consumer Credit Status
The national mortgage delinquency rate (the rate of borrowers 60 or more days past due) decreased for the fifth consecutive quarter, dropping to 6.19 percent at the end of the first quarter in 2011. As housing prices declined further during the first quarter of 2011, mortgage delinquencies were expected to remain flat or slow in their decline. However, the Q1 2011 TransUnion data shows the mortgage delinquency rate improved more in this quarter (down 3.4 percent vs. Q4 2010) than it improved last quarter (down only 0.5 percent from Q3 2010).
The average national mortgage debt per borrower increased (0.6 percent) to $190,115 from the previous quarter's $189,046. On a year-over-year basis, the first quarter 2011 average represents a 1.4 percent decrease over the first quarter 2010 level of $192,774.
TransUnion's quarterly analysis of trends in the credit card industry revealed that the national credit card delinquency rate (the ratio of bankcard borrowers 90 days or more delinquent on one or more of their bank-issued credit cards) decreased to 0.74 percent in the first quarter of 2011. This delinquency rate is down almost 10 percent quarter over quarter (0.82 percent 4Q10) and down nearly 33 percent year over year (1.11 percent 1Q10). This is the lowest level reached since the third quarter of 1996 (0.76 percent).
In the first quarter of 2011, the average credit card debt per borrower (defined as the aggregate balance on all bank-issued credit cards for an individual bankcard borrower) fell by 5.8 percent to $4,679 from the previous quarter's average of $4,965. This is the lowest average since the third quarter of 2000 ($4,695) and is markedly lower than the peak experienced during the recession ($5,776 1Q 2009).
The report is part of an ongoing series of quarterly consumer lending sector analyses focusing on credit card, auto loan and mortgage data available on TransUnion's Web site. Information for this analysis is culled from TransUnion's Trend Data and the anonymous credit files of approximately 10 percent of credit-active U.S. consumers, providing a real-life perspective on how they are managing their credit health.
TransUnion's Trend Data, a one-of-a-kind database consisting of 27 million anonymous consumer records randomly sampled every quarter from TransUnion's national consumer credit database. Each record contains more than 200 credit variables that illustrate consumer credit usage and performance. Since 1992, TransUnion has been aggregating this information at the county, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), state and national levels. For the purpose of this analysis, the term "credit card" refers to those issued by banks.