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​U.S. auto, home equity loan delinquencies rise: report

2019-01-09 17:02

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Consumer delinquencies rose in the third quarter of 2018, primarily driven by the increases in auto and home equity loan delinquencies, American Bankers Association (ABA) said in a report on Tuesday.

Home equity loan delinquencies rose 10 basis points to 2.53 percent of all accounts, above the pre-recession average of 2.12 percent, said ABA.

Delinquencies in direct auto loans, which were arranged through a bank, rose 10 basis points to 1.16 percent of all accounts. Meanwhile, delinquencies in indirect auto loans, which were arranged through a third party such as an auto dealer, rose 6 basis points to 1.99 percent of all accounts.

"The home and auto sectors have been lagging and that's where we saw the delinquencies edge up a bit," said James Chessen, chief economist of ABA.

In the meantime, ABA said that delinquencies in bank credit rose 12 basis points to 3.05 percent of all accounts. However, the reading remained below the pre-recession average of 4.33 percent.

"Bank card delinquencies remain low by historical standards, which is a direct result of consumers continuing to do a good job of managing their cards by keeping balances low relative to their income," Chessen said.

Speaking of the last quarter of 2018, Chessen noted the strong retail sales in the fourth quarter could lead to a financial frostbite if buyers "overextend" themselves.

"Prudent consumer spending is key to preventing delinquencies," Chessen added.
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