Today In Data: Credit Scores Up, But Bank Confidence Down


The Wall Street Journal reported that American consumers are enjoying improved credit scores as unemployment declines, the economy grows and personal bankruptcies from the recession start to roll off people’s credit reports.

However, banks aren’t so confident, at least when it comes to car loans. A drop in car loan totals this past quarter indicates that rising delinquencies and threats of litigation are conditioning banks to lend with more caution. With growth in other areas, such as student loans, banks are more interested in steering their resources in less risky directions.

Here’s the good news and the bad, by the numbers:

700 | Average credit score around the country as of April 2017, marking a one-point increase since the fall and the highest average credit score for the nation since 2005.

20 percent | Consumers viewed as the riskiest from a credit perspective – a new low, down from 20.5 percent in October and a peak of 25.5 percent in 2010.

6 million | Adults in the U.S. who will see personal bankruptcies caused by the recession disappear from their credit scores in the next five years.

$440 billion | Value of car loans outstanding at commercial banks, down $1.6 billion from the fourth quarter of last year to the first quarter of 2017. Big banks are reportedly pulling back from the $12 trillion U.S. car loan market, fearing that consumers are taking on too much debt.

$2 billion | Net additions to Capital One’s $50-billion car loan book over the first quarter, leading to the bank’s announcement that it would be proceeding with more caution to “maximize price over volume.”


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