Equifax: Auto Originations Hit Levels Not Seen Since 2005
According to Equifax's latest National Consumer Credit Trends Report, new credit for auto originations between January and May of this year soared to an eight-year high, producing an increase of more than 15 percent from same time a year ago.
Equifax also indicated the total number of new loans during that span came in at 9.9 million, also an eight-year high and a year-over-year increase of nearly 12 percent.
Analysts found that the total balance of auto loan originations year-to-date in May is more than $196 billion and represents more than 50 percent of all new non-mortgage consumer credit originated in 2013.
"Demand for new and used cars is accelerating with improvements in the economy and the auto credit industry is supporting that rise in demand," said Equifax chief economist Amy Crews Cutts.
"The financial crisis, recession and subsequent tighter lending standards led many drivers to delay the purchase of a new or quality used car or light truck," Cutts continued.
"Today, buoyed by a better economy, consumers are looking to finally replace these old cars," she went on to say. "Lending standards are also relaxing a bit, allowing more otherwise well-qualified subprime-credit buyers to obtain a new set of wheels."
Other highlights from the most recent data include:
—Balances on outstanding auto loans in July totaled $826 billion, the highest level in five years and an increase of nearly 10.9 percent from same time a year ago.
—Similarly, the total number of existing auto loans stands at 61 million, a 54-month high.
—By source, loans funded by banks, savings and loans, or credit unions are at $397.1 billion, while the total number of loans is 29.3 million — a five-year high for both.
—The total outstanding balance for loans funded by auto finance companies is $429.7 billion, a 50-month high, while the total number of existing loans is more than 31 million, its highest level in 46 months.
—Serious delinquencies on auto loans funded by finance companies in July represented 1.84 percent of outstanding balances, a year-over-year increase of more than 14 percent.
—Serious delinquencies on auto loans funded by banks and other depositories stood at 0.34 percent of outstanding balances in July, 5.8 percent lower than the same time a year ago.
"Lenders are searching for additional consumer insights, particularly as non-prime volume increases," said Dave Foerster, vice president and general manager of Equifax Automotive.
"Being able to monitor risk indicators and quickly verify consumer employment and income speeds up the loan decision process and enhances the consumer buying experience at the dealership. The result is a win for the consumer, the dealer and the lender," Foerster added.
Industry discussions and more from experts and executives will be part of the SubPrime Forum, which will be presented by our sister publication, SubPrime Auto Finance News ,and SubPrimeNews.com, in affiliation with the National Automotive Finance Association. Panelists for the event that's set for Nov. 12 and 13 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego include:
—Ian Anderson, president of Westlake Financial Services
—Charles Bradley Jr., chief executive officer of Consumer Portfolio Services