CLF037LOGODec. 20, 2012 - According to Equifax's latest National Consumer Credit Trends Report, consumer credit originated year-to-date through September 2012 has increased nearly 30% to $675 billion from $523 billion during the same timeframe in 2010. Comparatively, credit originations today are below the 2006-2007 pre-recession levels of about $1 trillion by about one-third.

Of note, balances on consumer credit originated over the past two years represents about 32% of outstanding balances, but only comprises slightly less than 6% of total delinquent balances, reflecting better underwriting and more responsible consumer payment behavior. In turn, consumer finance write offs have declined more than 53% to $70.9 billion year-to-date through November 2012, after peaking at $151.8 billion during the same timeframe in 2009. "Consumer spending is being supported by gradually opening credit markets, with higher new limits on accounts, a gradual upward trend in non-mortgage consumer debt outstanding, and also consistently low utilization rates," said Equifax Chief Economist Amy Crews Cutts. "Meanwhile, consumer finance delinquency rates, not including home loans, have returned to pre-recession levels — all signs that the consumer-led recovery is gaining strength heading into 2013."

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