Data through April 2011, released Tuesday by S&P Indices and Experian for the S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices, showed an increase in bank card and second mortgages default rates for the first time in at least five months. Bank Card defaults went up from 5.59% in March to 5.91% in April and Second Mortgages increased from 1.42% to 1.51%.  First Mortgages experienced a fairy large decrease in default rates down to 2.16% from 2.33%, while Auto Loan had a small decrease to 1.45%.

“We had seen default rates fall across all major categories and most major cities during the prior six months, but given April’s data that might be coming to end,” said David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee for S&P Indices.  “The real question is whether April was temporary or are household balance sheets worsening?”

“In addition, there are some significant differences across credit types and MSAs. Bank Card default rates went up in April, after having fallen each of the past 11 months; and the data indicate that the rate of default on credit cards is still 5.90%, more than twice any of the other loan classes.”

Consumer credit defaults varied across major cities and regions of the U.S. Among the five major Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) reported in this release each month, Los Angeles and New York lead the way with the largest decrease in defaults rates to 2.57% and 2.11%, from 2.73% and 2.26%, respectively. Chicago and Dallas followed not far behind with defaults decreasing to 2.48% and 1.56%.  Miami’s default rates increase this month to 5.40% from 5.33%.

The table below summarizes the April 2011 results 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
Index April 2011 Index Level Change from March 2011 Change from April 2010
Composite 2.30 -5.26% -40.36%
First Mortgage 2.16 -7.30% -41.75%
Second Mortgage 1.51 6.03% -39.39%
Bank Card 5.91 5.71% -35.45%
Auto Loans 1.45 -1.70% -25.29%

Source: S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices
Data Through: April 2011

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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