Credit scores steady, but auto, credit cards flash warning

Credit scores remained relatively steady in November, according to a VantageScore report, while auto loan delinquency rates and average credit card balances – which saw year-over-year increases – appeared to flash warning signs for consumers. 

The credit-score model development company said its December 2022 CreditGauge report found that the national average VantageScore credit score for November was 696. That marked a one-point drop from October’s 697, where the score “had been steady since March,” and a 2.2-point increase year-over-year, according to the report.

credit card

The credit-score model development company said its December 2022 CreditGauge report found that the national average VantageScore credit score for November was 696. (iStock / iStock)

Meanwhile, the delinquency rate for auto loans 30 to 59 days past due in November went up on both a month-over-month and year-over-year basis. It rose 0.12% from October and 0.51% from November of last year, coming in at 2.00%, according to the report.

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For auto loans 60 to 89 days past due and 90 to 119 days past due, the delinquency rates both saw increases compared to November 2021. On a monthly basis, the rate for the former saw a slight increase from October, while the latter stayed the same, the company found.

“Auto Loan delinquency rates are in line with pre-pandemic levels, but this is an area to watch as consumers with lower credit scores could be more vulnerable to rising interest rates and higher prices,” VantageScore’s report said.

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While inflation measured by the Consumer Price Index did cool somewhat in November, prices are still hovering at painfully high levels, going up 0.1% from the prior month and 7.1% year-over-year, as earlier reported by FOX Business. In an effort to fight inflation, the Federal Reserve has done multiple interest rate increases this year, including four back-to-back 75-basis-point hikes and – most recently – a 50-basis-point one.

VantageScore’s report said the average credit card balance for November was roughly $5,650, up $650 from the same month a year ago and the “highest level in the last 12 months.” (iStock)

Additionally, VantageScore’s report said the average credit card balance for November was roughly $5,650, up $650 from the same month a year ago and the “highest level in the last 12 months,” according to the report. For credit cards, the report found that the average credit card utilization rate, at 30.2%, also saw increases of 0.2% on a monthly basis and 2.3% on a yearly basis.

CREDIT CARD BALANCES SEE LARGEST ANNUAL JUMP IN MORE THAN 20 YEARS

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York said in mid-November that one of its quarterly reports found that credit card balances had climbed $38 billion, or 15%, compared to the third quarter of 2021.

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