Consumer credit balances rise $70 billion year over year
Consumer credit balances on consumer accounts other than mortgage increased more than $70 billion from June 2011 to June 2012, Equifax said in a recent report.
According to Equifax’s most recent monthly National Consumer Credit Trends Report, outstanding consumer credit balances on non-mortgage accounts rose to a total balance of $2.43 trillion in June 2012.
This $70 billion increase to $2.43 trillion puts outstanding consumer credit balances at a 28-month high, Equifax said.
Along with the rise in outstanding balances was a rise in new credit. From April 2011 to April 2012, total consumer credit limits for new accounts rose from $218 billion to $248 billion, an increase of 14 percent.
“The trends we’re seeing in consumer lending are directly related to overall economic conditions,” Amy Crews Cutts, Equifax Chief Economist, said in a statement. “Households are in better financial condition today, with income, assets and liabilities more in balance, but labor markets are still a weak spot.”
Cutts continued: “This explains the slow but steady rise in demand for new credit, steady utilization rates and declining delinquency rates across all tradelines.”
Auto loans led the way in the increase of consumer credit balances. According to the data from June 2012, auto loan balances increased more than $46 billion year-over-year, from $699 billion to $745 billion.
On the flip side, consumer debt on retail and bank credit cards came in at $585 billion in June 2012, a drop of 22 percent ($167 billion) from its peak in October 2008.
This $585 billion mark for consumer credit card debt seen in June, however, is 3 billion higher than recession-low set last month, Equifax said.