First, some good news.  Sort of.  Mortgage rates have slipped to 3.56% for a 30-year loan.  One year ago, the rate stood at 4.51%.  (By the way that’s still a hell of a rate when my first house had an 8.25% rate.)  Sorry, back on topic.  This marks the 11th time in the last 12 weeks that a record has been set.

The reason we say this is good news…sort of, is because it is good news if you are looking to buy a house now.  The bad news is that it means that the market is stagnant and lenders keep having to lower rates to entice buyers.

Once the rates increase for several periods in a row, you will know that the economy is really starting to improve.  In the meantime, go buy yourself a house, because these rates are LOW!

Now, onto auto loans.  New research suggests the surge in automobile sales could be attributable to a rise in the number of loans being issued by lenders to people with poor credit.

The results come from credit scoring company FICO, whose quarterly study revealed that half their lenders surveyed, said the biggest increase in sub-prime lending will be for car loans.  Incentives and lower gas prices were other reasons supplied for the increase in auto sales.

Credit card debt is also on the rise.  In May 2012 more cc debt was added than added for the month than in any other months since late 2007.  The possible reasons for the increase include, increased consumer confidence or the need to turn to credit to pay for bills. 

If you look at the these numbers as a whole, the safer bet is to conclude that the economy is still stalled and that businesses at least, are not very confident that conditions are likely to improve.