(AP) A new study suggests that the steady rise in U.S. home values is increasingly motivating homeowners to make paying their mortgage on time a priority.
Credit reporting agency TransUnion said Thursday that its study examined late payment rates of mortgages, credit cards and auto loans among consumers with the three types of financial obligations.
The study found consumers are still most likely to make timely payments on their auto loans ahead of credit cards and home loans.
But through last year, as home values have increased, the late-payment rate on mortgages nearly closed the gap with credit cards.
TransUnion says that suggests a return to behavior before the housing bust, when financially distressed borrowers typically prioritized paying their mortgage ahead of credit cards.