Best Debt Companys

162 Companies 2,937 Real Customer Reviews

2013 in Review: US National Consumer Debt Averages and Trends to Watch

Posted By:  |  December 17, 2013  |  0 Comment(s)

2013 year in debt review

Since debt plays a central role on the ability for Americans to own their homes, drive their vehicles, and live day-to-day, it is safe to say that consumer debt, including debt relief, drives economic growth and forges the way of life in the United States. As the economy grows, and the prices of homes increase, the ability to pay down that debt – to the relief of many – becomes an obtainable feat. Here are 2013’s must-watch trends in consumer debt.

Looking Back on 2013 and National Consumer Debt

Throughout the first quarter of 2013, debt continued to decrease in most major US metropolitan cities, and in January of 2013, consumer debt was at $22,720 per household. According to the National Consumer Credit Trends Report from Equifax, national consumer debt decreased from $11.02 trillion to $10.92 trillion between the first quarter of 2012 to the first quarter of 2013 (1). Looking into housing debt, this decline is largely a reflection of the activity seen during this time: both mortgages being paid down by consumers and mortgage debts being written off. Total mortgage debt fell 3.1 percent to $8.4 trillion, however, during the same period of time, debt aside from mortgage debts increased by 7.1 percent to $2.5 trillion.

Throughout February and March of this year, consumer credit jumped a total of 11.3%, and by April it was reported that the average household was favoring loans over credit cards, pushing consumer credit up another 8.3% in May (2). Over the summer months of June and July, school and car loans drove the national consumer debt up, while credit card loans continued to decline. On July 25, Equifax reported a 27% decrease in first mortgage delinquency, from 5.7% to 4.14%. In August, the rising interest rates spurred an 8% increase in loans, but on August 1st, Equifax reported that severely delinquent first mortgages, which means mortgages with payments 90 days over due or under foreclosure, were at a five-year low (3).

2013 Trends in National Consumer Debt

By the end of October, the trends throughout the year of 2013 in relation to consumer debt were becoming all the more clear. First-mortgage write-offs were reported at a six-year low, with a decrease of 24.5%. Delinquency rates were also at an all-time low. In a press release, Equifax reported that “We’re now back to where we were in mid-2008 in terms of severely delinquent first mortgages and current trends suggest we will be at pre-recession levels of severe delinquencies by the end of 2014.” (4)

2013 proved itself to be a positive year when looking at consumer debt. Although there was a slight increase over the year on retail credit card debt for consumers, this was said to be a positive sign, as it is an indication of an increase in consumer confidence. Since consumer spending is an important part of a healthy economy, and with most consumer debt being focused on responsibly managing mortgage and car loans, these statistics show that the US economy is moving in the right direction.

(1) http://investor.equifax.com/releasedetail.cfm?releaseid=774223
(2) http://useconomy.about.com/b/2013/04/08/consumer-credit-jumps-7-8-in-february.htm
(3) http://investor.equifax.com/releasedetail.cfm?releaseid=780388
(4) http://investor.equifax.com/releasedetail.cfm?releaseid=800705

Poll

  • How important is it to you for a debt consolidation company to offer financial education resources?
  • Takes your existing debt and try to settle with your creditors for a lower amount. If you pay off the settled amount, your debt will be considered paid in full.
  • Negotiates with your creditors on your behalf.
  • Fee based on a percentage of your total starting debt or a percentage of the debt they save you.
  • Most settlement companies have you create a separate "escrow" account where you will make monthly contributions over a certain amount of time to contribute to your settlement. Once there is a substantial amount of funds to show your creditors, the settlement company will try to negotiate a lower amount of debt.
  • Combines all your debts and creditors into one monthly payment.
  • Allows you to pay one monthly payment to the consolidation company, instead of multiple payments to different creditors.
  • You no longer owe your original creditors; instead you pay one monthly payment to your consolidation company.
  • Consolidation companies can help negotiate lower interest rates on your debts and help lower your total debt payment in the long run. A lower interest rate will lower the amount you owe in the end.
  • Allows you to consolidate all your different debts into one personal loan that can be paid off over time.
  • Can offer borrowers a lower interest rate with a longer payback term (compared to high-interest credit cards or medical bills). This will lower the amount of money required to pay off the loan over time.
  • Personal loan debt consolidation can be an effective way to raise your credit score quickly (within 3-6 months).
  • Borrowers can receive funds from their loan within only a few days.

Recently Reviewed:

Trending Blog Post:

Want us to review a company?

If there is a debt company that you don't see on our site, and would like us to review, please contact us.

Real Reviews (yes they’re real)

With so many debt relief companies out there, and a lack of sites willing to bring you the HONEST breakdowns of each company, what source can you turn to for the real information you can trust?

We are dedicated to bringing the truth out, and rank debt relief companies as they should be. Through our investigation, and experience with each company, we rank each company, and bring you our honest, unbiased opinion. We also include authentic user reviews by past customers of each company that are moderated and verified.

Like many sites, we are compensated through affiliate relationships with each company we review, however all of our rankings are based on our 11-Point Ranking Criteria.

All reviews are subject to moderation and approval. Any reviews that may resemble false information, or competitors of another company will need to be verified by our staff before being approved and published. We reserve the right to approve or deny any reviews left on this site.