Data through November, released Tuesday by S&P Dow Jones Indices and Experian for the S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices, showed stability in national default rates.
The national composite was 1.37 percent in November, a slight decrease from 1.38 percent in October. The first mortgage default rate was 1.28 percent in November, down from 1.30 percent last month. The second mortgage posted 0.78 percent in November, up from 0.72 percent in October.
The auto loan default rate was 1.15 percent in November, marginally higher than 1.14 percent in the previous month. The bank card rate was unchanged from last month at 2.97 percent.
The Indices form a comprehensive measure of changes in consumer credit defaults, according to a statement from Experian.
"Consumer credit quality remains healthy", says David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the Index Committee for S&P Dow Jones Indices. "The indices remain at pre-financial crisis levels and are stable. All changes were small."
Several factors account for the good results, he said. The Debt Service Ratio, the percentage of disposable income that consumers need to cover interest on their debts is at record lows. Outstanding mortgage debt continues to decline from its 2008 peak, although revolving consumer credit is growing. Also, recent improvements in the economy and the somewhat better labor market are helping keep consumer defaults low.
"Three cities - Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles - saw default rate decreases. Los Angeles posted its lowest default rate since September 2006, a low of 1.19 percent," Blitzer said. "Miami and New York were the only cities to post default rate increases. Miami recorded 2.46 percent, 35 basis points higher than last month's level. Miami has the highest rate among the five cities while Los Angeles had the lowest. Four cities - Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and New York - remain below default rates they posted a year ago in November 2012."