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Auto loans more popular than ever

Posted on Thursday, November 5, 2015 at 9:53:01 AM

If there were still any lingering doubts about consumer confidence in the auto industry, they've been put to rest. Outstanding auto loan balances climbed to $968 billion - the highest level ever recorded - in the third quarter of 2015, according to a press release from Experian Automotive, a group which tracks auto loans. That is a $98 billion improvement over last year's numbers, and represents an increase of more than 53 percent from the post-recession low seen in 2010.

Melinda Zabritski, senior director of automotive finance for Experian, said that "Continued growth in the automotive finance market is a clear sign of improved consumer confidence over the past few years." If drivers continue to stay on top of their auto financing payments as they have done so far, "the automotive industry can continue to flourish and grow for quite some time." 

According to Experian, about 61 percent of the lending money taken was done so by consumers with prime or superprime credit ratings, that is, people with the highest chance of paying off their loans on time. That is good news for the auto industry, indicating that recent successes, like the 13.6 percent increase of light-vehicle sales in October reported by The Wall Street Journal, are all set to continue.