A majority of bank risk executives surveyed by FICO believe consumers have finished paying down debt in the wake of the Great Recession and are ready to borrow again.
The decision management software company known for its credit scoring software reported that 60% of executives surveyed said they expected the amount of credit sought by consumers and the amount offered by lenders to reach equilibrium over the next six months.
FICO conducted the survey in conjunction with the Professional Risk Managers' International Association and found that 61% of them believe credit card balances will increase over the next six months and 26% believe credit card account delinquency will also rise.
“This is the first time since we initiated the survey in 2010 that expectations for the growth of credit demand did not exceed expectations for the growth of credit supply,” said Andrew Jennings, chief analytics officer at FICO and head of FICO Labs.
“This shows the strength of the U.S. economic recovery and is in sharp contrast to what we see in Europe,” Jennings said.
“Findings of our latest survey of European bankers show that twice as many UK lenders think the amount of credit requested will rise, compared with those who think the availability of credit will do so. These results say quite a bit about the psychology of borrowers and lenders,” Jennings continued.
“After years of caution, lenders are now in growth mode and feeling good about extending credit. But I find the borrower side of the equation even more intriguing. It appears that borrowers are beginning to shed the frugal habits that helped them deleverage to the tune of more than a trillion dollars since 2008,” Jennings added.
In addition, strong majorities of executives surveyed expected that delinquencies will either remain steady or drop across all major loan types except for student loans. Seventy-six percent of executives surveyed expect steady to lower delinquency in car loans, 85% in home equity loans, 88% in housing finance loans, 77% in small business loans but only 44% expected steady or lower delinquencies in student loans.