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Your Average Car Payment Is Now A Record $523 Per Month

Illustration for article titled Your Average Car Payment Is Now A Record $523 Per Month

Car buyers are taking out loans with exceptionally long, record-setting terms—in some cases approaching 96 months—and yet that still hasn’t stopped average monthly payments from continuing to grow. Now, CNBC reports, the typical loan payment for new cars has reached a record $523 per month. Wahoo.

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That figure comes to by way of analyst Experian, which reported that in the first quarter of 2018, the average monthly loan payment for a new vehicle increased $15 compared to a year ago, and now it’s at $523.

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And with SUVs and crossovers generating insatiable interest from consumers, records continue to be broken. From CNBC:

The credit analysis company’s review of new and open auto loans for the first three months of this year found buyers of new cars, trucks and SUVs borrowed an average of $31,453 — also a record high.

Experian based its review off an analysis of 4.7 million auto loans, according to CNBC.

The increase in monthly payments for new vehicles is not surprising given the rise in interest rates. In the first quarter, the average interest rate for a new vehicle loan was 5.17 percent, up 31 basis points compared with a year ago, according to Experian.

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It’s a notable trend. Consumers want to keep their monthly cost as low as possible, so lenders are more willing to extend the tern length to what’s now a record 72 months. But buyers continue to take out record-setting amounts for loans. Experian’s latest review found the average has climbed again to $31,453, up from $31,099 a quarter prior.

And while, according to CNBC, Experian found that 30-day delinquencies tailed off and decreased to 1.86 percent of all auto loans, the percent of loans that are 60-days delinquent remained steady. But here’s an even more concerning figure: 90-day delinquent loans increased this past quarter to 4.3 percent from 3.8 percent, according to the latest figures from the New York Federal Reserve.

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You gotta wonder if this record-setting trend is going to eventually wind up causing major pain for the industry and economy.

Anyway. Congrats, everyone, on this latest milestone.

Senior Reporter, Jalopnik/Special Projects Desk

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DISCUSSION

But a good way to get back on your feet is to miss two car payments.