Consumer payment behavior and delinquencies improved and new credit increased across nearly all verticals year-to-date in June, according to Equifax's latest National Consumer Credit Trends Report.

For home finance, year-over-year serious delinquency rates (90-days or more past due or in foreclosure) declined sharply as a percentage of total balances outstanding.

"The turnaround in home price trends over the past year is having a substantial impact on mortgage delinquency rates. As more and more homeowners find themselves back in positive equity, the incentive to default is strongly tempered," said Equifax Chief Economist Amy Crews Cutts. "While performance in other sectors is improving with the gradual economic recovery, we are seeing a strikingly different trend with student loan debt, which is both the fastest growing consumer debt segment and the only segment in which we're seeing rising severe delinquency rates and accelerating write-off rates."

Highlights from the most recent data include:

- First mortgages fell more than 27% (from 5.70% to 4.14%)

- Home equity revolving fell nearly 24% (from 2.30% to 1.75%);

- Home equity installment fell more than 20% (from 4.16% to 3.31%).

Year-over-year changes in the 60-day-plus delinquency rates for other verticals include:

- Bankcard decreased more than 16% (from 2.17% to 1.82%)

- Auto decreased more than 11% (from 1.24% to 1.09%).

The total balance of new credit opened between January and April rose more than 17% compared to the same period last year, from $24.1 billion to $28.4 billion.

The total number of new loans also increased more than 11% in that timeframe, from 266,600 to 297,600; and both new loans and new credit year-to-date in April reached four-year highs.

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