In news that will shock precisely no one, the current car blitz is partially fueled by longer loan rates, higher monthly payments and an increasing prevalence to finance our new cars from the automaker themselves — when we’re not renting it from them in the first place.
Experian released Wednesday its data on third-quarter sales and financing and found, on average, that borrowers’ credit scores were at the lowest level since before 2008. According to the credit agency, car buyers had an average credit score of 710 when they financed their car — which happens in 86.6 percent of car transactions, an all-time high.
Buyers opted for longer loans too. According to the data, new car loans longer than six years increased to 27.5 percent for the third quarter, up 17.1 percent from the same period last year. Loans between five and six years accounted for 44 percent of new vehicle financing. (Read More…)
On Friday, Barclays Plc announced it estimates the near-term costs of Volkswagen’s seemingly ever expanding emissions scandal will be about $27 billion USD (25 billion Euros).
Volkswagen’s automotive group had $29.6 billion in net liquidity at the the end of the third fiscal quarter of this year. About $10.8 billion is allocated to protect the company’s credit ratings. That leaves about $19 billion in cash for the company to work with.
There are fines that will be paid in a number of countries, along with goodwill gestures to owners of affected VW vehicles and incentives needed to sell cars from a tainted brand. Then there will the cost of litigation and any judgments or settlements that come out of those lawsuits.
About the same time as Barclays’ announcement, Automotive News and Bloomberg reported Volkswagen AG will be meeting in Wolfsburg this week with representatives of about a dozen banks to secure as much as $21.5 billion in loans by the end of this year. Those meetings aim to shore up the company’s financing and show the credit markets that VW has enough liquid assets to cover emissions-related costs. (Read More…)
Next year may not be as kind to new car buyers with bad credit.
If you’ve been paying attention to the market recently, it’s been an up-and-down ride for the past few days. Market volatility is just one of the indicators that the Federal Reserve may be considering a hike to the federal funds rate (probably not this year, though), which would impact borrowing rates in a record-setting year for the auto-loan business.
“It has the potential to impact auto loans, any rate increase certainly can,” said Melinda Zabritski, senior director for Automotive Finance for Experian. “The rate depends on so many other factors in the market … (A rate increase is) at some point, likely. But there’s not a strong chance that it will go up this year.”
Rates for loans have largely stayed the same since 2008, when interest rates were lowered to spur lending after the recession. Many of the low-rates today haven’t changed and automakers such as Subaru have offered interest-free loans on some of their cars.
Credit-reporting agency Equifax says that as of June 2015 more than $1 trillion has been loaned or leased in the United States. The total dollar amount is 10.5 percent higher than last year.
The average loan amount is $20,800, which is a 3.65 percent increase over last year, and the average sub-prime loan is $18,200. Sub-prime loans comprised 23.5 percent of newly originated auto loans.
More than 9 million new loans were made up to April 2015, which is a 5.8-percent increase over last year. Overall, more than 73.7 million cars are financed through loans in the U.S. (Read More…)
Faced with less disposable income, higher taxes and more expensive vehicles (in most cases), loan terms in the Canadian market has gradually shifted to one where bi-weekly and even weekly payments have become the advertised norm, with 72, 84 and 96 month loans appearing as a fixture of the new and used vehicle marketplace. And with household debt levels reaching record heights in Canada, the chart above should be deeply concerning.
The latest Q2 2014 data from Experian was released this week, and key metrics like repossessions, loan delinquencies and outstanding balances have all seen increases.
New technology is allowing buyers with no credit score – due to a lack of credit history or a personal bankruptcy – to get vehicle financing via examination of documents like the payment history of their cable or cell phone bill.
The Detroit Free Press paints a pretty clear picture of the automotive lending landscape: auto loan terms are rising, with 1 in 5 loans now lasting longer than 6 years. At the same time, the average credit score for those taking out loans is dropping. Ominous signs for a car market that’s running on the hype of a perpetually increasing SAAR, right? Well, not according to some.
8 years to pay off a car? A report by the Wall Street Journal claims that in Q4 of 2012, the average car loan stretched out to 65 months, or just over 5 years. Loan terms were being stretched out over increasingly longer terms too, with credit firm Experian reporting that nearly 1 in 5 car loans had terms between 73 and 84 months long, with some stretching for as long as 97 months.
March was the 5th straight month of a SAAR above 15 million vehicles. Industry analysts have explained the strength of the market in a number of ways. The need to replace older vehicles is one (new car sales were hit hard during the recession as consumers held on to their vehicles for longer. This also caused used car prices to skyrocket, something TTAC has been documenting), while others have cited increasing fleet demand, and the desire to replace vehicles damaged in Hurricane Sandy.
But one factor that is just starting to get attention outside of TTAC is sub-prime financing. Sub-prime lending, which involves giving high-interest loans to customers with poor credit scores, is driving the SAAR in a big way, by letting buyers with poor credit purchase new cars. In turn, the sub-prime bubble is being driven by Wall Street, whose clients cannot get enough of financial instruments backed by sub-prime auto loans.