Default rates fell in May for all types of loans tracked by the S&P/Experian Credit Default Indices. For most loan types it was the fifth consecutive drop and four loan types posted their lowest rates since the end of the recession.

The national composite default rate declined to 1.62 percent in May from 1.86 percent in April and the first mortgage rate was down to 1.50 percent from 1.76 percent. Second mortgage defaults were at 0.88 percent, compared to 0.93 percent and bank card defaults dropped to 4.35 percent from 4.49 percent. Auto loans fell four basis points to 1.03 percent, a low point in the eight year history of the index.

Second mortgage defaults were at their lowest point in seven years and first mortgage and credit card defaults were the lowest since May 2007 and 2008 respectively.

“May 2012 data show continued improvements in consumer credit quality,” says David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee for S&P Indices. “Consumer default rates continue to fall and we are reaching new lows across all the loan types. In the last recession, default rates peaked in the spring of 2009, since then the decline has been bumpy but consistent.  Only bank cards remain above their pre-recession lows.

S&P/Experian covers five metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) and all five saw their default rates fall to post-recession lows. Chicago declined for the fifth straight month to 1.85 percent, down nearly a percentage point since December. Miami and New York recorded their fourth consecutive decreases with Miami down by 59 basis points and New York by 17. Dallas hit an index low at 0.94 percent, down from 1.25 percent in April and Los Angeles moved down slightly from 1.88 percent to 1.82 percent.

The table below summarizes the May 2012 results for the S&P/Experian Credit Default Indices. These data are not seasonally adjusted and are not subject to revision.