Tag Archives: Credit Trends

Risk & Compliance Examining the Credit Cycle: Is This as Good as it Gets?

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Apr132017

More than 70 straight months of US job growth, the official unemployment rate down below 5%, and average hourly earnings growing at a seven-year high of 2.9%. Signs of approaching full employment finally allowed the Fed to see enough stability to inch up rates without being seemingly blown off course by events elsewhere. There will be more rate hikes to come if the economy stays on this course, and in the event the deficits grow, it will pretty much guarantee what we already expect on the interest rate front. With all this in mind, it’s a good time to ask: Has the US credit cycle reached the top? Is it as good as it gets? Of course, we never know that for sure. This is all opinion (some would say speculation), especially on the economic policy front. But you have to feel that if it isn’t the top we are... [Read More]

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Risk & Compliance Millennials and Credit: Are We Missing the Real Story?

Millenials and Credit - I'm a Millennial Nametag
Apr042017

Our fascination with millennials and their like or dislike of credit continues to occupy its fair share of column inches – so much so that a while back I decided to take a look for myself. I shared results of that study in a prior blog post, where I revealed that millennial credit habits don’t look too different, at least directionally, from the rest of the population. Here’s what I found: Compared with 10 years ago, today’s 18-24 year olds have lower credit and store card balances, and while they have more auto loans, the value of these loans did not grow as much as inflation would suggest. By contrast, growth in student loan debts outpaced inflation, being both greater in number as well as balances; this undoubtedly creates a drag on capacity for other forms of consumer credit. Subsequently, I also looked at the 25-34 year age band, and... [Read More]

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Risk & Compliance Auto Loan Credit Quality: Hazardous Road Conditions Ahead? Part 2

Auto Lending Credit Trends #2
Feb282017

In my last blog post, I shared a new FICO research study on credit trends in auto lending. One key finding highlighted that the size of auto loans has been increasing faster than inflation since the recession. So how are consumers affording these larger loans? It’s simple: consumers are ending up with longer terms for their car loans: While five-year loans were the most popular length of terms in 2009, there has been a swing towards opening six-year loans since then. Seven-year loan terms—while still rare at ~5% of all new loans—seem to be increasing in popularity as well. This trend towards more six-year loans occurred across all FICO® Scores. This shift may signal an increase in credit risk for the industry because six-year loans have historically had higher delinquency rates. However, confirming this requires some care in our analysis. The lingering effects of the recession, average age of the... [Read More]

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Risk & Compliance Auto Loan Credit Quality: Hazardous Road Conditions Ahead?

Auto Lending Credit Trends
Feb222017

The gist of recent media coverage on the state of US auto lending can be summarized by the title of a recent New York Times article: As Auto Lending Rises, So Do Delinquencies. With this concern in mind, FICO recently conducted a research study to examine the credit quality of US consumers with auto loans, as well as other significant credit trends in auto lending. Our findings tell an interesting tale: Banks have been mildly decreasing their car loan underwriting standards. Overall indebtedness for many consumers has been declining since the Great Recession. The size of car loans has been increasing faster than inflation since the recession. More consumers now have six-year auto loans instead of five-year loans, which were the previous standard. These six-year loans have higher delinquency rates, thus this shift to longer-term loans is likely to result in higher losses for US auto loans over the next... [Read More]

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Risk & Compliance FICO Research: Are Millennials Really Abandoning Credit?

Feb082017

Nothing fascinates us more in the world of demographics than what the Millennial generation think, do and how they act.  One thing for sure is that, as they vie with the Baby Boomers to be the largest demographic group here in the USA, what they do is important. And we don’t need to be statisticians to know that the Baby Boomer generation isn’t going to be getting any bigger. The question for many in financial service boils down to this: Are Millennials really abandoning us? The topic came to mind for me recently as I was asked to be part of a panel discussion on credit and the economy at an ABS East conference. Since much of what gets said about Millennials seems to be more opinion than fact, I decided to look at a few stats and see if we could cast any light on what might be happening.... [Read More]

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Risk & Compliance Will FICO® Scores Determine the Super Bowl?

FICO Scores Super Bowl
Jan252017

Super Bowl fever is starting to build as Super Bowl Sunday approaches. As part of the lead-up to the game, there is a great deal of speculation and analysis (and non-stop media coverage!) on which team will take the title — the Atlanta Falcons or the New England Patriots. Of course, people are studying stats with obvious relevance to a victory: team performance during the season, comparison of team member “big game” experience and physical strengths/weaknesses, injuries, projected game-day weather conditions, etc. Other much less intuitive data points include the conference in which the team resides, distance travel to Super Bowl host city location, the intensity of the fan base, team colors, local food specialties, even team mascot. But what about FICO® Scores? Could they offer clues to the final score that determines next Sunday’s winner? For fun, we analyzed and compared several credit attributes for populations in the greater... [Read More]

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Risk & Compliance Medical Collections Rates Highest for Consumers Aged 24-46

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Jan112017

Since medical costs often increase as we age, one might expect that the rate at which medical bills are unpaid and then sent to collections companies would also increase with age – at least until age 65 when US citizens qualify for Medicare. New FICO research shows that not this not the case. Looking at credit bureau data as of July 2016, medical collections reporting – both paid and unpaid collections greater than $99 – breaks down by age as follows: While the peak of this curve occurs at age 27, the rate of consumers with medical collections is uniformly high for ages 24 to 46. Over a quarter of consumers in that age range have at least one such collection showing on their bureau report. After age 46, we see the rate slowly drop, and as expected, it drops substantially after age 65. Part of the issue stems from... [Read More]

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Collections & Recovery FICO Survey: APAC Consumers Taking Longer To Pay Bills

Dec222016

It’s Christmas time again and apart from the jingling of bells it’s also a time for the juggling of bills. And apparently, that’s getting harder than ever in Asia Pacific. That was the firm message we got from our Asia Pacific collections managers when we polled them about what had been happening with their customer base over 2016. Three in five respondents from banks, telcos, and utilities revealed that their customers have taken longer time to pay their bills in the past year. The 60-days past-due segment has seen the highest growth according to 41 percent of respondents. 72 percent of collections managers also registered an increase in the number of first-time delinquents. This is in keeping with figures out earlier this year from Moody’s that reported household debt in Asia has grown at an average of 13.5 percent a year. Our survey, conducted last month at our FutureCollect event... [Read More]

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Risk & Compliance FICO® Score High Achievers: Is Age the Only Factor?

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Nov032016

FICO’s latest research on national FICO® Score distribution shows that US credit quality continues to trend upwards, with an increasing number of consumers scoring in the highest scores ranges. Given that, we decided it was time to refresh our study on “FICO® Score high achievers,” where we examine the credit behavioural profiles of consumers with higher credit scores. As expected, our latest study showed that older people generally have higher scores, as has been the case in our past research. This is largely because they have trade lines that have been open longer, which leads to higher scores (assuming the trade lines are in good standing and all other things equal). The most credit savvy among you will remember that length of credit history accounts for roughly 15% of the overall FICO® Score calculation. But for younger consumers, it isn’t too helpful to say, “just wait until you are 50... [Read More]

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Risk & Compliance FICO Research: Student Loan Explosion Hurts Other Borrowing

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Oct202016

The student loan crisis in the US is getting much worse — student loan debt is over $1.3 trillion and is increasing by more than $2,700 per second. Lenders cannot ignore the impact of that debt on individual borrowing. Our latest research shows that: The number of US consumers aged 25-34 with student loan debt of at least $50,000 doubled from 2005 to 2015. During that same time, the average student loan debt across all age 25-34 consumers also doubled — by comparison, average credit card debt and mortgage debt for this population actually fell. While the number of consumers age 25-34 with student loans grew from 2005 to 2015 (from 27% of this population to 40%), there are fewer 25-34 year olds with mortgages or credit cards than 10 years ago.   In fact, our data shows that people with active student loans are far less likely to have... [Read More]

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