WASHINGTON (3/10/14)--Student loans and pent-up demand for autos helped boost nonrevolving consumer credit by $13.7 billion in January, according to Friday's data from the Federal Reserve.
The $2.8 billion increase in nonrevolving credit more than covered the $700 million drop in revolving credit at credit unions in January.
"Consumers are taking advantage of extremely low interest rates" to finance education and big-ticket items such as autos and vacations, said analysts at Moody's (
Credit unions' revolving credit experienced a 7.4% slowdown in January from December's seasonally adjusted numbers.
The Fed's report indicates consumers are reluctant to take on too much credit card debt with revolved credit ticking downward 0.2%, Moody's said. After two months of harsh weather, however, consumers may be ready to take on new purchases delayed by snow.
Credit quality continues to improve as well. According to the American Bankruptcy Insitute, total bankruptcy filings in the U.S. decreased 12% in February over the same period last year. Consumer filings dropped to 69,380 from February 2013's number of 78,614.
Total commercial filings in February decreased to 2,813, representing a 24% decline from the 3,722 business filings recorded a year prior. Total commercial chapter 11 filings also decreased 27%, to 452 filings in February from the 619 filings recorded a year ago.