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Consumers Look to Credit, Home Equity to Stay Afloat

Amidst an economic environment of rising interest rates and high inflation, Q4 of 2022 saw consumers continuing to look to credit as a means to help stave off these financial pressures. Unveiled today, TransUnion’s Q4 2022 Quarterly Credit Industry Insights Report (CIIR) shows that whether it’s Gen Z consumers opening credit cardshomeowners taking out home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) or consumers continuing to turn to unsecured personal loans, more and more borrowers are looking to a range of credit products to cope with the financial pressures of today and better position themselves for the evolving financial landscape.

An example of increased credit usage: credit card balances continueto grow, reaching record levels at the end of 2022. Bankcard originations were also up year-over-year (YoY) in Q3 2022 (the most recent originations data available), from 20.1 million in Q3 2021 to 21.6 million. Gen Z consumers, in particular, increasingly continueto turn to bankcards, showing YoY growth in both balances (up 64% YoY in Q4 2022) and originations (up 18.8% YoY in Q3 2022). Somewhat concerning is an upward trend in credit card delinquencies in both bankcard and private-label; however, context is required.  Delinquencies for bankcards in Q4 2022 are still hovering around pre-pandemic levels observed in 2019 while private label card delinquencies remain below pre-pandemic levels.

While higher interest rates dampened new and refinance mortgage originations in Q3 2022, homeowners continued eagerly tapping into their record stores of home equity to help in consolidating their high interest debt. In fact, the most recent origination figures from Q3 2022 show that HELOCs and home equity loans (HELOANs) continueto be a popular option in Q3 2022. Consumers are also still seeking out unsecured personal loans as a way to pay off high interest debt and, despite growing delinquency rates among borrowers, lenders remain eager to lend, albeit seemingly with adjustments in their lending criteria that includes a gradual shift away from below prime borrowers.

To read the full report, click here.

About Author: Demetria Lester

Demetria C. Lester is a reporter for DS News and MReport magazines with more than eight years of writing experience. She has served as content coordinator and copy editor for the Los Angeles Daily News and the Orange County Register, in addition to 11 other Southern California publications. A former editor-in-chief at Northlake College and staff writer at her alma mater, the University of Texas at Arlington, she has covered events such as the Byron Nelson and Pac-12 Conferences, progressing into her freelance work with the Dallas Wings and D Magazine. Currently located in Dallas, Texas, Lester is an avid jazz lover and likes to read. She can be reached at [email protected].

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