Photo credit: AP photo/Damian Dovarganes

A 2011 study has shown that people would rather remain current on their auto loans than on credit cards and mortgages. The study looked at 4 million consumers, and specifically identified consumers who had delinquent loans. Source: TransUnion Payment Hierarchy Analysis

The car matters most
Photo credit: AP photo/Damian Dovarganes

Of the consumers delinquent on loans, only 9.5% were delinquent on auto loans while current on credit cards and mortgages.

Credit cards come next...
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Of delinquent consumers, 17% where late on their credit cards while current on auto and mortgage loans.

Mortgage comes third
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39% of delinquent consumers were delinquent on their mortgage while current on credit cards and auto loans.

Why? Maybe people need a car to find and keep work.
Photo credit:AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, file

Researchers gave a few reasons why people now prefer to stay current on auto loans rather than other loans. One may be the recession and the resultant decrease in jobs. Cars are often needed to stay afloat financially.

left: Job applicants in line.

Negative equity
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Researchers also blamed the loan payment changes on the worsened housing value situation.
If one's home has no equity left to preserve, auto payments will take priority.

The worst state at paying mortgages: Florida
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Of those consumers delinquent on loans in Florida, 50% are delinquent on mortgages while current on auto loans and credit cards.

left: Jacksonville, FL

All 50 states
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Although each state had its own patterns, researchers found that all 50 states prioritized paying auto loans before other loans.

Utah's 60-day Mortgage Loan Delinquency Rate
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Utah's 60-day mortgage loan delinquency rate at the end of 2011 was 4.5%.

The national average is 6%. California, Nevada, and Arizona were all above 7%.

Utah's credit card delinquency
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In the fourth quarter of 2011, Utah's 90-day bankcard delinquency rate was .59%. That was among the lowest in the nation.

The national average was .78%.

Utah's auto loan delinquency
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Utah's 60-day auto loan delinquency rate was .36% in the fourth quarter of 2011. Among states that fared better were Colorado, Washington, and most of the midwest, along with some eastern states like Pennsylvania and Virginia.

The national average was .46%.

So as with the rest of the nation, it holds true in Utah that people would sooner pay auto loans than mortgage loans and credit cards.