Automobile sales are booming in the U.S., providing short term lenders with a great opportunity. A recent Frost & Sullivan report found that yearly lending for the automotive point-of-sale finance market exceeded $340 billion in 2011. "The rise in second-hand sales drives the automotive POS finance market, as 70 percent of used units sold are financed through loans," said Ratika Garg, senior research analyst at Frost & Sullivan. "The higher average retail price of vehicles and the introduction of new in-car technologies also sustain dependence on dealership financing." The study also predicted that lending will reach $440.21 billion by 2018, with both new and used vehicle sales increasing. New automobile sales, which totaled 10.2 million in 2011, are expected to rise to 13.3 billion in 2018. Meanwhile, second-hand vehicle sales are estimated to grow from 24.4 million to 31.7 million during that same time span. Another recent report by the Federal Reserve revealed that consumer debt reached an all-time high of $2.74 trillion in September. Consumer borrowing increased $11.4 billion from August to September, driven primarily by automobile and student loans, which grew by more than $14 billion combined.