June 09, 2022

Consumer credit hits record total high of $4.57 trillion in April

Data Flash 

Total consumer credit rose 10.1 percent, at a seasonally adjusted, annualized rate, in April and is up 7.5 percent compared to a year ago. Revolving credit - primarily credit cards - rose 19.6  percent this month and is up 13.1 percent compared to April 2021. Non-revolving credit – primarily auto loans and education loans – rose 7.1 percent this month and is up 5.8 percent from a year ago.

“Consumer credit rose by $38.1 billion to hit a record total of $4.57 trillion in April,” said NAFCU Chief Economist and Vice President of Research Curt Long in the latest Macro Data Flash report. “While the growth rate decelerated in April, it still marks the third month in a row with $30+ billion in additional credit.

"After households paid down debt during the pandemic, balance sheets are clearly returning to normal," added Long. "For now, borrowers are staying current on payments.”

Total consumer credit for credit unions rose 2.1 percent, on a seasonally adjusted basis, in April, compared to a 1.4 percent gain for banks and 0.2 percent increase for financial companies. From a year prior, total consumer credit at credit unions rose 10.8 percent, while banks experienced a 13 percent gain and financial companies rose 1.9 percent.  

Over the past 12 months, credit unions’ share of the market rose 0.4 percentage points to 12.4 percent. Banks’ share rose by 1.9 percentage points to 41.2 percent, and financial companies' share fell by 0.8 percentage points to 12.8 percent.  

“The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Consumer Credit Panel indicates that delinquency rates are below their 2020Q1 levels across all loan categories,” noted Long. 

"Despite rising interest rates, NAFCU expects nonmortgage consumer debt to expand at a solid pace over the remainder of the year due to high inflation and spare borrowing capacity on household balance sheets," concluded Long.

For more up-to-date economic insights from NAFCU's award-winning research team, view NAFCU's Macro Data Flash reports