Auto loan delinquency rate increased in August

The auto loan delinquency rate, i.e. the percentage of car buyers falling more than 60 days behind on their auto loan payments, increased to 0.95% in Q2 2014 compared to 0.87% in Q2 2013, a rise of 9%, according to figures published by TransUnion, a major credit information services company.

Compared to the first quarter of 2014, which posted a rate of 1%, auto loan delinquencies declined in the second quarter.

Auto loan debt in the US has increased every month for the last thirteen months, TransUnion informed.

In the second quarter, the average auto loan was $17,090, compared to $16,410 in the previous quarter, a 4.1% increase.

Despite the increase, the rate is well below the 1.05% average from 2007 to 2014.

Still relatively low

During the Great Recession the rate reached 1.59% in Q4 2008, and then fell to 0.86% in Q2 2012. The recent upward trend, however, should not be overly-worrying – it is still comparatively low.

Amount Borrowed
(Data Source: TransUnion)

Peter Turek, automotive vice president for TransUnion, said:

“Auto lending remains similar to what we have observed during the last several quarters. Delinquency rates remain relatively low while auto loan balances keep rising – both metrics aided by increasing auto loan originations.”

“In fact, there are four million more auto loan accounts in the marketplace than we observed just last year. This means with more auto loans in the marketplace and a delinquency rate ticking higher, we now have several thousand more delinquent accounts than at the midpoint of 2013.”

In the second quarter, all but six US states reported an increase in auto loan delinquency rates compared to the same quarter a year earlier (the six posted either declines or no change).

The states with the highest increased rates of borrowers at least sixty days behind on their payments were Nebraska, Alaska, Michigan and Montana.

The biggest declines occurred in Oregon, S. Dakota and Hawaii.

Loan delinquency rates rose across all age groups, TransUnion said.

Auto loan delinquency rate by age groups

(Data source: TransUnion)