Auto Lenders Cutting Back Loans To Sub-Prime Customers

Financial analysts have been raising concerns about the amount of sub-prime lending happening within the auto industry. Some are worried about a lending bubble that could have a negative impact on the economy. But lenders are actually scaling back the the numbers of high-risk auto loans.


Bloomberg has compiled some data on how the rapid growth of auto-loans is increasing the amount of "bad debt" for consumers. The amount of money borrowed for auto loans has increased for 15 consecutive quarters, this is the longest streak since 2005. Lenders are worried about delinquencies and are starting to limit the number of approvals.

According to data from Experian, subprime and deep subprime credit accounted for 15.1 percent of new-vehicle loans for the quarter, down substantially from 22.1 percent a year earlier. Loans to customers with subprime and deep subprime credit for used vehicles accounted for 40.2 percent of the used total, down from 50.6 percent in the second quarter of 2013.

The average new-vehicle loan amount to borrowers in the subprime subcategory (credit scores of 550 to 619) was $27,347, down $216 from the year-earlier quarter. Average new-vehicle loans in deep subprime (below 550) were down $650 to $24,836. Average new-vehicle loans in nonprime (620 to 679) were $29,170, up $1,013 from a year ago.

For used vehicles, the average loan in the subprime subcategory was $16,546, down $474. Deep subprime was $14,358, down $755. The average nonprime loan was $18,756, up $83.


I have spoken with several credit challenged buyers that are having a difficult time getting approved for loans or leases. These folks are either postponing new car purchases or are looking for ways to buy something cheap with cash. The availability of cheap credit has surged new car sales this summer, now that banks are managing that risk more carefully sales may start to slow down.


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Phtoto: Getty

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