Second-mortgage default rate gets a hair higher

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Both first- and second-lien mortgage default rates last month were higher than in June, and second-lien defaults also edged up from where they were a year ago.

The second-mortgage default rate was 0.5%, up 1 basis point from the previous month and 6 basis points from last July, according to the S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Index.

The default rate for first-lien mortgages last month was 0.62%, which was 2 basis points higher than in June, but still 4 basis points below year-ago levels.

The index's composite default rate for mortgage, bank card and auto loan credit was 0.83%; up 1 basis point from June and the same as a year ago.

The default rate for auto loans was 0.86%, which is down 4 basis points from June and down 7 basis points from last July. The default rate for cards was 3.31%, which is down 18 basis points from June and up 9 basis points from July of last year.

Although the default rates for first mortgages and auto loans have risen a little, they are still at historically low levels, whereas the lower bank-card default rate is still historically high.

"Default rates for autos and first-mortgage loans are at their lowest points in the last 10 years," said David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, in a press release.

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