Consumer priority to start paying their mortgage is finally starting to stabilize back to pre-crisis trends, as more people are now prioritizing paying their mortgage before their credit card payment, according to the latest report from TransUnion.
Back at in September 2008, the mortgage crisis spurred people to start paying their credit card bill before their mortgage.
“One of the biggest impacts of the Great Recession to the credit system was its influence on consumer payment patterns,” said Ezra Becker, co-author of the study and vice president of research and consulting for TransUnion.
“As unemployment rose and home prices cratered, increasingly more consumers were faced with financial constraints and had to make difficult choices—and many chose to value their credit card relationships above their mortgages,” Becker explained.
This was significantly due to the state of the economy since many consumers were underwater on their mortgages and at the same time needed the liquidity afforded by credit cards to make ends meet, he explained.
The study examined the looked at the delinquency spread between mortgages and credit cards over the past decade, and compared that spread to the Standard and Poor’s Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index.
In September 2013, the 30-day mortgage delinquency rate for consumers processing auto loans, credit cards hit 1.79% and the credit card rate came in at 1.86%, compared to September 08 when mortgage was at 3.332% and credit card was 3.29%.
“We found that home price appreciation and depreciation can impact mortgage and credit card payment patterns quite differently, depending on whether consumers consider the environment ‘normal’,” said Toni Guitart, co-author of the study and director of research and consulting in TransUnion’s financial services business unit.
“Once home values experienced major declines in 2007 and 2008, the delinquency spread narrowed to the point where more people were opting to pay their credit cards before their mortgages—something that was unimaginable just a few years prior.”
Now that unemployment is gradually improving and housing prices are recovering, every metropolitan city is expected to revert to the traditional payment hierarchy, with auto loans coming in before both mortgage and credit card loans, Becker said.