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Consumer credit default rates fall in June

The credit situation for consumers made some progress during the early part of 2014, which may mean that the economy is gaining strength.

Overall consumer credit defaults dropped to 1.02 percent in June, a decline from May's level of 1.04 percent and June 2013, when it was 1.34 percent, according to the Consumer Credit Default Indices completed jointly between Standard and Poor's and Experian. This was the lowest level the figure reached in the 10-year history of the measurement.

"Consumer credit default rates continue to drift lower and have reached a historical low," said David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee for S&P Dow Jones Indices. "Recent economic reports are encouraging with the unemployment rate now at a six year low and strong job creation in recent months. The continued declines in consumer default rates confirm other indicators of an improving economy. Credit standards for mortgage loans continue to be somewhat restrictive and may be contributing to low first mortgage default rates."

The credit default rate for bank cards was 3.02 percent in June, slightly higher than the previous month's level of 2.97 percent, the report explained. However, this was still notably lower than one year ago when it was 3.41 percent.

For first mortgages, the figure was 0.89 percent, down from both May's 0.92 percent and June 2013, when it was 1.23 percent, the report showed. The second mortgage default rate did not change month-over-month, posting a 0.57 percent. However, it was slightly higher than one year ago, when it was 0.54 percent.

Young people still concerned about finances
While some credit conditions are improving, people are still worried about their personal finance situations. According to a report from Wells Fargo, more than 40 percent of millennials are concerned about their debt levels.

"The silver lining of the recession that started over five years ago is that a majority of millennials get that saving is a necessity and even equate it with 'surviving' tough times," said Karen Wimbish, director of Retail Retirement at Wells Fargo. "But millennial women are starting out their working lives making far less than men and, as a consequence, are saving less and feeling less contentment at the start of their working lives."

A similar level noted that their debt was overwhelming them, the report added. Just 23 percent of baby boomers said the same.

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