Auto, College Loans Fuel Overall Surge in Non-Mortgage Credit

Auto, College Loans Fuel Overall Surge in Non-Mortgage CreditNon-mortgage consumer credit led by auto and student loans surged 8 percent at an annualized rate, or $18.1 billion, in February — beating projections by about $3 billion.
The newest update by the Federal Reserve Friday on credit balances, not including loans tied to real estate, reveals a similar pattern of the past several months.
Loans to finance college expenses and the purchase of autos and light trucks fueled the overall growth in credit. These “non-revolving” balances shot up by an annual rate of 10.9 percent to $1.95 trillion.
Auto sales in the U.S. increased by 3.4 percent year-over-year to 1.45 million vehicles in March, the best monthly sales in almost six years.
Balances outstanding on student loans increased more than 14 percent, from $746.3 billion to $852.7 billion, from February 2012 to February 2013.  And the actual number of student loans outstanding increased nearly 13 percent, from 108 million to more than 123 million, according to a new update from the credit bureau Equifax.
Meanwhile, revolving balances tied to credits cards saw little movement, up just 0.8 percent at an annualized rate to $848 billion in February.
February’s overall rate was up significantly from January, when consumer credit grew by $12.7 billion.

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