FICO Survey Indicates US Deleveraging is Easing

US analytics group FICO, formerly known as Fair Isaac, said that the results of its latest survey of US bank risk professionals indicates that 2013 could be the year when Americans begin to embrace credit again.

The survey, conducted for FICO by the Professional Risk Managers’ International Association (PRMIA), produced responses from 251 risk managers at US banks last month and found that:

  • Fifty-nine percent of bankers expect credit card balances to increase; the second-highest figure seen throughout the history of the survey.
  • Sixty-one percent of risk managers expect the amount of new credit requested by consumers to increase during over the next six months, and the same percentage predict an increase in the number of requests for credit lines.

The results contrast with the significant household deleveraging that has taken place in the US over the past five years.

“These results indicate that 2013 could be the year that Americans begin to embrace credit again, after the considerable deleveraging we’ve seen since 2008,” said Dr. Andrew Jennings, chief analytics officer at FICO and head of FICO Labs.

“With both the job market and real estate sector showing signs of life, American consumers may again be willing to fund their lifestyles by taking on more debt. And it appears that banks are willing to oblige.”

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