Consumer Credit Defaults in Autos and Mortgages Drop; Defaults in Bank Cards Accelerate

Consumer Credit Defaults in Autos and Mortgages Drop; Defaults in Bank Cards Accelerate

New York, May 18, 2010 – Data through April 2010, released today by Standard & Poor's and Experian for the S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices, a comprehensive measure of changes in consumer credit defaults, show that the monthly default rates declined for first and second mortgages and auto loans, but climbed for the third month in a row for bank card loans. Defaulting balances of bank card loans were 9.1% in April, up from 8.9% in March and 7.7% from a year earlier. First and second mortgage default rates were 3.7% and 2.5%, both down from March, while auto loan defaults were 1.9%, down from 2.4% in March.

“Consumer defaults continue to moderate in the key big ticket items of first and second mortgages and auto loans.  In these areas, defaults bottomed out around the same time as the stock market in the first half of 2009. Bank cards on the other hand continue to worsen and are at levels not seen in the history of these indices,” says David Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices. “With attention focused on consumer spending and little hope for a fast rebound in housing, the bank card series may raise concerns for many consumer related businesses as well as for consumer oriented lending institutions.”

Consumer credit defaults vary across major cities and regions of the U.S. Among the five major Metropolitan Statistical Areas reported each month in this release, Chicago showed the smallest decrease of 5.8% in the past year. The sharpest decline was in Miami where defaults declined 40.5% in the last 12 months and 7.9% in the past month.

“Regional variations in default rates are typical.  The sharp declines in Los Angeles and Miami reflect a somewhat more stable, though still weak, housing market as well as some overall economic improvements seen in recent months,” commented Blitzer.

The table gives summary results for April 2010 for the S&P/Experian Credit Default Indices. These data are not seasonally adjusted and are not subject to revision.

S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices
National Indices


April Index Level

Change from March, 2010

Change from April 2009





First Mortgage




Second Mortgage




Bank Card




Auto Loans




Source: S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices
Data Through: April 2010

The second table provides the S&P/Experience Consumer Default Composite Indices for five selected metropolitan statistical areas:

Metropolitan Statistical Area

April Index Level

Change from March, 2010

Change from April 2009

New York












Los Angeles








Source: S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices
Data Through: April 2010

Jointly developed by Standard & Poor's and Experian, the S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices are published on the third Tuesday of each month at 9:00 am ET. They are constructed to accurately track the default experience of consumer balances in four key loan categories: auto, bankcard, first mortgage lien and second mortgage lien. The Indices are calculated based on data extracted from Experian's consumer credit database. This database is populated with individual consumer loan and payment data submitted by lenders to Experian every month. Experian's base of data contributors includes leading banks and mortgage companies, and covers approximately $11 trillion in outstanding loans sourced from 11,500 lenders.

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About S&P Indices
S&P Indices, the world's leading index provider, maintains a wide variety of investable and benchmark indices to meet an array of investor needs. Over $1 trillion is directly indexed to Standard & Poor's family of indices, which includes the S&P 500, the world's most followed stock market index, the S&P Global 1200, a composite index comprised of seven regional and country headline indices, the S&P Global BMI, an index with approximately 11,000 constituents, and the S&P GSCI, the industry's most closely watched commodities index.  For more information, please visit

About Standard & Poor's
Standard & Poor's, a subsidiary of The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE:MHP), is the world's foremost provider of independent credit ratings, indices, risk evaluation, investment research and data. With offices in 23 countries and markets, Standard & Poor's is an essential part of the world's financial infrastructure and has played a leading role for 150 years in providing investors with the independent benchmarks they need to feel more confident about their investment and financial decisions. For more information, visit

Standard & Poor's does not sponsor, endorse, sell or promote any S&P index-based investment product. The S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices are products of S&P Indices, which operates independently of Standard & Poor's Ratings Group. Standard & Poor's Ratings Group plays no role in the compilation, distribution or licensing of the Indices.

About Experian Capital Markets
Formed as a response to market needs, Experian Capital Markets leverages Experian's comprehensive U.S. consumer and business databases to provide data and analytics to serve the transparency needs of the structured finance market participants. By taking underlying borrower data and applying advanced analytics, Experian provides insight into U.S. consumer and business credit behavior across all obligations, helping to forecast future payment patterns on prepayments, delinquencies, charge-offs or defaults for non-agency residential mortgage–backed securities and other asset-backed securities.

David R. Guarino
Standard & Poor's
1 212 438 1471 Telephone Email

David Blitzer
Standard & Poor's
Chairman of the Index Committee
1 212 438 3907 Telephone Email

Danica Ross
Experian Public Relations
1 714 830 5462 Telephone Email

About Experian
Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients in more than 65 countries. The company helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score and protect against identity theft.

Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended March 31, 2009, was $3.9 billion. Experian employs approximately 15,000 people in 40 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; Costa Mesa, California; and São Paulo, Brazil. 

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Experian and the marks used herein are service marks or registered trademarks of Experian Information Solutions, Inc. Other product and company names mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.