The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced Thursday (Dec. 15) the launch of Consumer Credit Trends, a web-based tool to help consumers monitor developments in consumer lending and to ascertain potential future risks.
In a press release, the CFPB said the beta version of the tool encompasses the mortgage, credit card, auto loan and student loan markets. The government watchdog said the first Consumer Credit Trends release shows a sharp increase in mortgage originations from August to October when compared to last year, growth in credit card lending to lower-income consumers, fewer auto loans to borrowers with lower credit scores and a slight slowdown of new student loans.
“Our Consumer Credit Trends tool can chart the state of consumer markets,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray in the press release announcing the beta launch of the new web-based tool. “This critical information will help us identify and act on trends that warn of another crisis or that show credit is too constricted.”
The beta version of the Consumer Credit Trends tool tracks originations for mortgages, credit cards, auto loans and student loans. The CFPB said it plans to include other consumer credit products and information on credit applications, delinquency rates and consumer debt levels in the future. The tool also charts how specific groups of consumers are faring in financial markets. The CFPB said that, by tracking trends over time, it should serve as a warning of potential problems about to impact a given industry. The web-based tool is expected to be updated regularly with information and will also include analyses and notable findings when it is warranted. The CFPB said the Consumer Credit Trends tool reflects the changes in the behaviors of consumers and lenders and will be the jumping-off point for the CFPB and others to conduct further analysis of trends happening in the financial marketplaces.