On April 17th, S&P Indices and Experian released March data for the S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices, which measure consumer credit default rates. March data showed a sharp decline in the composite index, led by a 14 basis point drop in first mortgage default rates. While having a much smaller weight in the composite, second mortgage default rates fell by even more during the month, 17 basis points. The national composite declined to 1.96% in March from its 2.09% February rate, the first mortgage default rate decreased from February’s 2.02% to March’s 1.88% and the second mortgage rates declined from 1.20% in February to 1.03% in March.
With March’s data, first and second mortgage, auto and composite default rates all reached post-recession lows.
As seen in the graph below, consumer default rates are close to their pre-crisis rates, with the first mortgage and composite rates around those last witnessed in the summer of 2007, and the second mortgage rates back to mid-2006 levels. Another sign of progress in the repair of consumer debt.