Credit Card and Personal Loan Balances Reach Record Levels as Consumers Navigate High Inflation, Rising Interest Rates

CHICAGO, Nov. 08, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The third quarter of 2022 saw more consumers turning to unsecured personal loans and credit cards as a means to help stave off the financial pressures brought on by inflation. TransUnion’s (NYSE: TRU) newly released Q3 2022 Quarterly Credit Industry Insights Report (CIIR) also shows that while delinquencies for most credit products remain in line with pre-pandemic levels, they continue to rise from the very low levels seen in 2021, particularly among subprime segments of customers.

“Consumers are being pressured on multiple fronts, first by this environment of high inflation, and secondarily by the higher interest rates that the Federal Reserve is implementing to tamp it down. However, as long as employment numbers remain strong, there should continue to be a steady flow of customers seeking access to new credit products, credit cards and personal loans in particular, and concurrently, an ample supply of lenders willing to offer credit to them,” said Michele Raneri, vice president of U.S. research and consulting at TransUnion. “Delinquencies remain in line with historical levels for most credit products. However, levels have been rising over the past year, particularly among subprime consumer segments, and should be monitored in the coming months to look for similar increases in other credit risk tiers.”

Credit card balances continue to grow, with bankcard balances reaching a record high of $866 billion in Q3 2022, which represents a year-over-year (YoY) increase of 19%. This increase was heavily driven by growth among Gen Z and Millennial borrowers, among whom balances grew by 72% and 32%, respectively. Private label balances are also at a record high, up 7.3% YoY. Private label total and average credit lines have also increased to record highs, as have average number of accounts per consumer. Delinquencies have also risen and in Q3 2022 were slightly higher than the level seen pre-pandemic in Q3 2019. Bankcard charge-offs, for now, continued to decline, down for the sixth consecutive quarter. Charge-off balances are showing an upward trend among private label after seven consecutive quarterly declines.

Unsecured personal loans have seen record growth in originations and balances in recent quarters. This growth has been fueled, in part, by significant increases in lending to below prime risk tiers. This increase, combined with a general deterioration in the financial health of subprime consumers as a result of elevated inflation, has led to an increase in delinquencies, which have now surpassed pre-pandemic levels. As lenders navigate increasing delinquencies, a high inflation environment, capital constraints, and a potential recession, lending to below prime risk tiers is likely to slow down in the last two quarters of 2022.

Loan Growth and Balances Rising for Credit Cards and Unsecured Personal Loans

Key Metrics Q3 2022 Q3 2021
Number of Credit Cards 510.9 million 474.2 million
Average Credit Card Debt per Borrower $5,474 $4,857
Consumers with Access to a Personal Loan 22.0 million 19.2 million
Average Personal Loan Debt per Borrower $10,749 $9,387

TransUnion’s Credit Industry Indicator (CII) was relatively stable between Q2 and Q3 2022, ticking up one point to 120, but dropped from the prior year level of 126 in Q3 2021, largely driven by the rising delinquencies across many product categories. The CII is a quarterly measure of depersonalized and aggregated consumer credit health trends that summarizes movements in credit demand, credit supply, consumer credit behaviors and credit performance metrics over time into a single indicator. Examples of data elements categorized into these four pillars include: new product openings, consumer credit scores, outstanding balances, payment behaviors, and 100+ other variables.

To learn more about the latest consumer credit trends, register for the Q3 2022 Quarterly Credit Industry Insights Report Webinar. Read on for more specific insights about credit cards, personal loans, auto loans and mortgages.

Largely driven by non-prime growth and a high inflation environment, credit cards see highest balances on record

Q3 2022 CIIR Credit Card Summary

Bankcard originations increased to 21.3 million in Q2 2022, a 10.7% growth YoY, with significant growth seen in the subprime (+12.5%) and super prime (+15.2%) risk tier segments (originations are viewed one quarter in arrears). Private label originations increased to 12 million, with 8.4% growth YoY. The subprime share of overall private label originations increased to 22.5%.

Total bankcard balances in Q3 2022 increased to a record level, $866 billion, representing a 19% growth YoY, driven by card use across all risk tiers and recent high origination growth in non-prime segments. Total private label balances increased 7.3% YoY, driven by subprime consumers, while average consumer balance reached the highest point since 2Q 2020.

Total available bankcard credit lines and average credit lines per consumer are at an all-time high, with consumers having access to a record number of cards in their wallets, again driven by growth in prime and below segments. The 90+ delinquency rate increased to 1.94% in Q3 2022, which was slightly above the 1.82% seen in Q3 2019. Private label 90+ DPD delinquency rate increased 56bps YoY to 1.52%. Total private label charge-off balances have started showing an upward trend after a seven consecutive quarter decline.

Instant Analysis

“In this inflationary environment, consumers are increasingly turning to credit, as evidenced by the record total bankcard balances this quarter. This is particularly true among the subprime segment of consumers. Delinquencies are rising, which is to be expected given the increase in consumers getting access to credit, many for the first time. However, the numbers remain in relative alignment with historical pre-pandemic levels of 2019. We are likely to see continued growth in credit card usage as increased interest rates and inflation continue to put pressure on consumers while employment numbers remain strong.”

– Paul Siegfried, senior vice president and credit card business leader at TransUnion

Q3 2022 Credit Card Trends

Credit Card Lending Metric Q3 2022 Q3 2021 Q3 2020 Q3 2019
Number of Credit Cards 510.9 million 474.2 million 451.9 million 441.9 million
Borrower-Level Delinquency Rate (90+ DPD) 1.94% 1.13% 1.23% 1.82%
Average Debt Per Borrower $5,474 $4,857 $5,068 $5,658
Prior Quarter Originations* 21.3 million 19.3 million 8.6 million 16.5 million
Average New Account Credit Lines* $5,021 $4,200 $4,001 $5,295

*Note: Originations are viewed one quarter in arrears to account for reporting lag.
For more credit card industry information, click here for episodes of Extra Credit: A Card and Banking Podcast by TransUnion.

Personal loan consumers reach a record 22 million as below prime balances continue to grow

Q3 2022 CIIR Personal Loan Summary

As of Q3 2022, 22 million consumers had an unsecured personal loan, the highest number on record, highlighting the expanding acceptance and usage of this product type by consumers. Originations in Q2 2022 (viewed one quarter in arrears) grew 36% YoY to reach six million, with all credit tiers experiencing 30%+ growth. Consequently, total personal loan balances in Q3 2022 continued to grow, reaching $210 billion – a 34% increase over last year. Balances grew at a much higher rate for below prime risk tiers (up 58%) compared to prime and above risk tiers (up 24%). As subprime balances make up a larger and larger share of personal loan balances, serious borrower delinquency (60+ days past due) has continued to grow and now exceeds pre-pandemic levels –the borrower delinquency rate stood at 3.89% as of Q3 2022, a YoY increase of 54% and the highest level since 2014.

Instant Analysis

“Lenders’ expansion into below prime risk tiers has been a key driver of recent growth in unsecured personal loan originations. Additionally, originated loan amounts and average consumer balances have continued to increase, partially driven by higher prices. As expected, increased lending to higher risk tiers drove increased overall delinquency rates, with serious delinquencies now exceeding pre-pandemic levels. As we look to the rest of 2022 and into next year, lenders will likely shift their originations focus towards prime and above credit risk tiers as they look to moderate risk in their portfolios while continuing to grow.”

– Liz Pagel, senior vice president of consumer lending at TransUnion

Q3 2022 Unsecured Personal Loan Trends

Personal Loan Metric Q3 2022 Q3 2021 Q3 2020 Q3 2019
Total Balances $210 billion $156 billion $148 billion $152 billion
Number of Unsecured Personal Loans 26.4 million 21.6 million 21.4 million 22.5 million
Number of Consumers with Unsecured Personal Loans 22.0 million 19.2 million 19.5 million 20.2 million
Borrower-Level Delinquency Rate (60+ DPD) 3.89% 2.52% 2.55% 3.30%
Average Debt Per Borrower $10,749 $9,387 $8,864 $8,758
Prior Quarter Originations* 6.0 million 4.4 million 2.6 million 4.8 million
Average Balance of New Unsecured Personal Loans* $7,925 $7,168 $5,984 $6,292

*Note: Originations are viewed one quarter in arrears to account for reporting lag.

As Mortgage Originations Decline, Consumer Interest in Home Equity Lines and Loans Rises

Q3 2022 CIIR Mortgage Loan Summary

The slowdown in mortgage originations continued to accelerate in Q2 2022, down 47% from Q2 2021. At the same time, originations volume stood at 1.9 million, on par with Q2 2019 – which was part of one of the best recent years of mortgage originations prior to the pandemic. For the fifth consecutive quarter, in Q2 2022 purchases made up the bulk of total origination volume, outnumbering refinance volume three to one for the quarter, with the originations share up 24 percentage points from 53% in Q2 2021 to 77%. Purchase volumes decreased from 1.9 million in Q2 2021 to 1.5 million in Q2 2022 (down by 23% YoY) while refinance volumes decreased from 1.7 million in Q2 2021 to 425,000 in Q2 2022 (down by 74% YoY). The amount of equity that mortgage holders have available to tap continued to grow, hitting an aggregate total of $19.6 trillion in Q2 2022 (latest data available) and is up 22% YoY and 63% over the last five years. Approximately 84 million consumers have available equity in their homes, with a median equity of $236K. Homeowners continue to tap that equity, with HELOC and home equity loan originations increasing YoY by 47% and 43%, respectively. The average credit line for new HELOCs is up 7% YoY from $113K to $121K. While serious mortgage loan delinquencies linger near record lows, after years of continued declines, this has leveled out and has remained flat for the past year. Even with low and stable mortgage delinquencies, the current macroeconomic volatility means that lenders should continue to monitor their portfolios for any changes in this trend.

Instant Analysis

“HELOCs and Home Equity Loans are growing at dramatically higher rates than in recent years. Considering that homeowners had a cumulative total of $604B in non-mortgage debt, these products are attractive options for homeowners because they can use their available home equity to pay off more expensive debt while keeping their existing low interest rate mortgage in place, which can mean saving money on a monthly basis. For example, if a homeowner has $10,000 in credit card debt, by tapping their home equity to consolidate that debt at the lower interest rate, they could save around $700 a year. Lenders can benefit from this as well by adding to their portfolios and realizing this cross-sell opportunity. Lenders should utilize data and analytics from companies like TransUnion to understand how much equity each homeowner has access to, and create customized messages to educate individual consumers on how tapping their home equity can benefit them.”

– Joe Mellman, senior vice president and mortgage business leader at TransUnion

Q3 2022 Mortgage Trends

Mortgage Lending Metric Q3 2022 Q3 2021 Q3 2020 Q3 2019
Number of Mortgage Loans 52.2 million 51.2 million 50.7 million 50.3 million
Account-Level Delinquency Rate (90+ DPD) 0.60% 0.60% 0.81% 1.02%
Prior Quarter Originations* 1.9 million 3.6 million 3.3 million 1.9 million
Mortgage Origination* Distribution – Purchase 77.4% 53.2% 42.9% 71.9%
Mortgage Origination* Distribution –
Refinance
22.6% 46.8% 57.1% 28.1%
Average Balance
of New Mortgage Loans*
$345,557 $305,140 $293,731 $278,724
Number of HELOC Originations* 409,110 278,029 261,143 309,104
Number of Home Equity Loan Originations* 296,723 207,957 180,982 192,469

* Originations are viewed one quarter in arrears to account for reporting lag.
Click here for additional mortgage industry metrics.

Auto originations down, delinquencies tick up as the industry continues to recover from disruption

Q3 2022 CIIR Auto Loan Summary

Originations in Q2 2022 were down 14.9% YoY from Q2 2021, the peak of the pandemic auto recovery. However, when compared to the pre-pandemic Q2 2019, originations for Q2 2022 were down 4.1%. New vehicle inventory shortages continue to be a factor driving down originations, with super prime originations decreasing 18.5% YoY. As a result, used vehicles made up the majority of vehicles financed at 60%, up from 55% in Q2 2021. Despite some recent easing in vehicle price gains, affordability remains a concern for consumers as average amounts financed are up YoY, with new auto loans increasing 12% to $40,906 and used up 17% to $28,072. Monthly payments for new auto loans increased 13.7% to $679, while used payments were up 16.1% YoY to $517. Total auto loan balances stood at $1.49 Trillion in Q3 2022, up from $1.46 Trillion in Q2 2022. Delinquency rates have risen over the past year, but the performance of recent origination vintages remains in line with that of originations in prior years. Point-in-time 60+dpd account delinquency rates rose 22bps quarter-over-quarter to 1.65% in Q3 2022, up from 1.43% in Q2 2022. This increase is only slightly higher than the typical seasonal increase of 9-19bps from Q2 to Q3 dating back to 2010.

Instant Analysis

“Supply chain challenges, while easing moderately in recent months, continue to affect the auto industry. Furthermore, inflation and rising interest rates have impacted consumer affordability, particularly among lower priced vehicles, with the trend of rising monthly payments continuing for both new and used vehicles. While pre-2021 vintages generally remain in positive equity positions, newer vintages face higher originating LTVs on high-priced vehicles. Delinquencies are up, particularly among subprime consumers, a trend which we expect to continue for the immediate near-term. However, the overall delinquency rate remains in relative alignment with historical norms.”

– Satyan Merchant, senior vice president and automotive business leader at TransUnion

Q3 2022 Auto Loan Trends

Auto Lending Metric

Q3 2022 Q3 2021 Q3 2020 Q3 2019
Number of Auto Loans 81.2 million 83.1 million 83.7 million 83.4 million
Account-Level Delinquency Rate (60+ DPD) 1.65% 1.20% 1.27% 1.20%
Prior Quarter Originations* 7.0 million 8.2 million 6.5 million 7.3 million
Prior Quarter Average Monthly Payment NEW** $679 $597 $579 $567
Prior Quarter Average Monthly Payment USED** $517 $445 $392 $389
Average Balance
of New Auto Loans*
$29,169 $25,607 $23,839 $21,937
Average Debt Per Account $18,405 $16,892 $15,694 $15,232

*Note: Originations are viewed one quarter in arrears to account for reporting lag.
**Data from S&P Global MobilityAutoCreditInsight, viewed one quarter in arrears.
Click here for additional auto industry metrics.
For more information about the report, please register for the Q3 2022 Credit Industry Insight Report webinar.

About TransUnion (NYSE: TRU)
TransUnion is a global information and insights company that makes trust possible in the modern economy. We do this by providing an actionable picture of each person so they can be reliably represented in the marketplace. As a result, businesses and consumers can transact with confidence and achieve great things. We call this Information for Good®.

A leading presence in more than 30 countries across five continents, TransUnion provides solutions that help create economic opportunity, great experiences and personal empowerment for hundreds of millions of people.

Contact  Dave Blumberg
  TransUnion
   
E-mail dblumberg@transunion.com
   
Telephone 312-972-6646

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