Open-Ended Credit Slowly Recovers in July

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The Federal Reserve’s latest G.19 Consumer Credit Report shows trends in consumer credit, excluding loans secured by real estate, through July 2020.

Consumer credit increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.6% from the previous month, with revolving debt1 decreasing by slightly less than 0.5% and nonrevolving debt2 increasing by 4.8 percent. Consumer credit totaled $4.1 trillion on a seasonally adjusted basis, with $994 billion in revolving debt and $3.1 trillion in nonrevolving debt. This is an increase of $12 billion from the previous month, with non-revolving credit increasing by $12.5 billion and offset by a marginal decrease in revolving debt by $293 million. This month marks the fifth straight month of declines in the level of open-ended credit.

Despite the decline for revolving debt, the latest decrease has been minimal, down only by $293 million from the previous month. This suggests more consumer certainty in short-term financial outlook than had existed in months prior, as open-ended credit is usually assumed to be paid down faster.

Depository institutions (commercial banks) are consumers’ largest source for revolving credit, with their share of holdings totaling $853 billion or 90% on a non-seasonally adjusted basis. Credit unions, non-financial businesses, and finance companies make up the rest of the holdings of revolving credit, with shares trailing at 6.4%, 2.2%, and 2%, respectively.


Notes:

  1. Revolving credit plans are largely composed of credit card debt but also include home equity lines of credit (HELOCs). These may be unsecured or secured by collateral and allow a consumer to borrow up to a prearranged limit and repay the debt in one or more installments. The G.19 Consumer Credit report excludes HELOCS and home equity loans, as they are secured by real estate.
  2. Nonrevolving credit is closed-end credit extended to consumers that is repaid on a prearranged repayment schedule and may be secured or unsecured.


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