Debt higher in Colorado than national average

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Average consumer debt in Colorado, excluding first mortgages, declined for the third consecutive quarter to $18,816, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s latest Consumer Credit Reports.

In Colorado Springs, 5.2 percent of mortgages are past due, or 30 days or more delinquent, including those in foreclosure, according to the Fed. Also, 2.5 percent of mortgages are “seriously delinquent,” or 90 or more days delinquent.

Those figures compare to Denver at 4.2 percent delinquent and 1.8 percent seriously delinquent, and Pueblo at 7.9 percent delinquent and 3.3 percent seriously delinquent.

Bankruptcy filings are higher in Colorado than the nation. In this state, out of 10,000 households, 91.4 file bankruptcy, compared to 81.5 in the nation.

The Kansas City Fed shows that in the third quarter:

• The delinquency rate for consumer debt in Colorado was 3.2 percent in the third quarter, a decline of 0.1 percentage point. Nationally, the delinquency rate was 5.8 percent, a decline of 0.2 percentage point.

• Overall, auto loan balances during the recovery have increased, but delinquencies on these loans have declined. The delinquency rate on auto loans in Colorado in the third quarter was 9.7 percent for finance company loans and 3 percent for bank loans.

The rise in automobile sales after the recession led to a rise in auto debt, as 73 percent of U.S. Auto sales are financed.

Delinquencies in student loans are lower in Colorado – 12.3 percent – compared with the nation, at 15 percent. Bank card delinquencies in Colorado are also lower than the nation as a whole, at 3.7 percent and 5 percent respectively.

“Across our Federal Reserve District, consumer credit delinquency rates have remained relatively unchanged at 4.1 percent, but are sharply lower than the Consumer Credit Reports peak at the end of 2010,” said Kelly Edmiston, senior economist at the Kansas City Fed. “In terms of auto lending, the data suggest a large share of auto loans was made relatively recently. In addition, because the average outstanding auto loan balance for the region has increased to $14,000, consumers may be purchasing more expensive vehicles, reflecting higher income and economic security.”

As the regional headquarters of the nation’s central bank, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and its branches in Denver, Oklahoma City and Omaha serve the seven states of the Tenth Federal Reserve District: Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wyoming, northern New Mexico and western Missouri.