The national auto loan delinquency rate reached its lowest level since TransUnion began tracking the data in 1999, the company reported this week.
Auto loan delinquency rates in the first quarter dropped to 0.36 percent, down nearly 27 percent from a year ago. On a quarterly basis, auto loan delinquencies declined almost 22 percent from the fourth quarter 2011.
“Auto loan delinquencies continue to perform exceptionally. This can be attributed primarily to growing demand for both new and used vehicles and higher used vehicle values, which equates to an increase in equity for consumers,” said Peter Turek, automotive vice president in TransUnion’s financial services business unit. “We are seeing increases in both lending and leasing across the board, along with a higher number of loans originated in the non-prime risk segments.”
Between the fourth quarter 2011 and first quarter 2012, 43 states experienced declines in their auto delinquency rates. On a more granular level, only 34 percent of metropolitan areas experienced increases in their auto delinquency rates in the first quarter. This is down from the prior period where 44 percent of the MSAs experienced increases.
“We anticipate national auto loan delinquency rates to remain relatively low for the remainder of the year, rising and decreasing with traditional seasonal patterns,” added Turek. “However, a slight increase from this record-low level would not be surprising and should not be construed as a negative event, as lenders continue to originate more loans to consumers across all credit risk levels.”
via F&I Magazine.