When it comes to consumer bill-paying priorities, auto loans are viewed as being more important than mortgages. According to new data released by Chicago-based TransUnion, consumers are also more apt to pay off their credit cards before their home loans.
TransUnion's data analysis looked at a sample of approximately 4 million consumers in each quarter of 2011 that had at least one open auto loan, one open bank credit card and one open mortgage. The study found in each quarter that there was a clear preference for remaining current on auto loans, ahead of credit cards and mortgages.
Specifically, of the consumers who were delinquent on any of these products, 9.5% were delinquent on an auto loan while current on their credit cards and mortgages, while 17.3% were delinquent on a credit card while current on their auto loans and mortgages. However, 39.1% were delinquent on a mortgage while current on their auto loans and credit cards.
‘With unemployment remaining high and real estate values remaining stagnant or further depreciating, consumers continued to pay their credit cards ahead of their mortgages,’ says Ezra Becker, vice president of research and consulting in TransUnion's financial services business unit. ‘However, the importance of their auto loans appears to have trumped even the value they place on their credit cards.’