The Financiapocalypse continues. We just received a copy of an e-mail that went out at GMAC, the lending arm jointly owned by GM and Cerberus, from Barbara Stokel, GMAC's EVP of North American Operations. Here's the most salient detail: you'll now need a minimum 700 credit bureau score to get a car loan at dealer invoice or below from GMAC. The full e-mail is below the jump to explain that news as well as the news they'll be restricting approval of contract terms beyond 60 months unless a buyer qualifies for GM-supported 72-month incentives. So what does this means to you? Well, unless you've got above average credit, it's going to become much more difficult to buy a new car. Frankly, that's probably a good thing for consumers. It's probably a bad thing for GM sales numbers.
GMAC Leaders and NAO Team: In light of the disruption in the credit markets, GMAC NAO is announcing a temporary, more conservative purchase policy for retail auto contracts in the United States. In the short term, we will limit auto contracts to those consumers who have a minimum 700 credit bureau score, with an advance rate equal to or less than dealer invoice. This means that consumers will be required to make a down payment. In addition, we will restrict approval of contract terms beyond 60 months, except for those customers qualifying for GM-supported 72-month incentives currently advertised. These are extraordinary times, and we must take these prudent steps to focus our resources on high quality retail contracts and critical areas such as dealer wholesale financing, until the credit markets are stabilized. To assist dealers, GM has enhanced its retail incentive programs in October to utilize more cash incentives. GM and GMAC will continue to work collaboratively through these challenging financial market conditions. Barbara Stokel Executive Vice President, North American Operations