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Equifax Reports New Credit In 2013 At Five-Year High

ATLANTA, May 20, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- According to Equifax's (NYSE:EFX) latest National Consumer Credit Trends Report, new credit generated during January-February 2013 posted at $141 billion, the highest balance for that time period in five-years, and an increase of more than 33% over recession lows of $94 billion originated during January-February 2010.

Year-over-year, new credit balance changes year-to-date in February 2012 versus February 2013:

  • Student loans: increased nearly 27% (from $9.2 billion to $11.7 billion)
  • Home Equity lines of credit: increased nearly 16% (from $10.7 billion to $12.4 billion)
  • Auto loans: increased more than 13% (from $61.5 billion to $69.6 billion)

"The rise in auto loans is reflecting the strong demand for new cars and light trucks, which increased almost 9% over the same time a year ago," said Equifax Chief Economist Amy Crews Cutts. "On a year-to-date basis through February, auto loan origination activity this year is the strongest it has been for banks since Equifax began tracking this information in 2006, totaling $35.6 billion, and the second strongest showing for non-bank auto financing companies at $34 billion. Consumers are tired of their old, patched-up cars and demand is really starting to pick up. At the same time, there is a slight increase in the willingness of lenders to finance car purchases for consumers with less than perfect credit."

"On a more cautionary note, student borrowing continues to increase rapidly, and well beyond just tuition increases as more and more people are attending colleges and professional training. In the past, some students might have relied on their parents who would have funded tuition payments using home equity lines of credit, but the small volume of home equity lending that is occurring today, at a little over $12 billion, is not sufficient to cover those costs."

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