While many consumers are worried about their finances and focusing on paying down their credit card debt as a result, new data suggests they're still prioritizing another type of loan over their outstanding balances.
Consumers who were struggling financially in 2011 were more likely to make sure they were current on their auto loan payments than their credit card or mortgage bills, according to a recent report from the credit monitoring bureau TransUnion. In all, just 9.5 percent of borrowers were delinquent on their auto loan bills while keeping current on the other two lines of credit.
By comparison, 17.3 percent of borrowers let their credit card payments fall behind as they kept up with their auto and home loans, and 39.1 percent allowed their mortgage payments to slip into delinquency while focusing on their balances and car loans, the report said.
Experts have noted that consumers may be more likely to fall behind on their mortgage payments because they see having the spending flexibility afforded by credit cards as being more important in their day-to-day lives. They may view having their cars, which are often necessary to go from one place to another with ease, similarly. Those struggling under these constraints may want to seek debt consolidation to get their problems under control.