First- and second-lien mortgage default rates increased slightly in February, according to the S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices.

The default rate for first mortgages rose two basis points month over month to 0.74%. This figure remained below where it was a year earlier at 0.84%, but February represented the third straight month that the default rate increased.

For second mortgages, the default rate increased three basis points from January to 0.51%. A year ago, the rate was 0.6%.

The composite index rate, registering mortgage defaults along with those on bank cards and auto loans, rose two basis points to 0.94% but remained three basis points down from where it was a year ago.

"Given the prospect of higher interest rates and continuing economic expansion, the recent rise in bank card default rates is not expected to immediately reverse," said David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, in a news release. "While interest rates on home mortgages and auto loans are likely to rise, the default rates don't show any adverse trends now."

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