Despite a considerable uptick in demand and sales for the U.S. auto industry, consumers seem largely pessimistic about the ability to finance a new vehicle. According to a survey released Friday by FreeScore.com, roughly two-thirds of Americans believe it will be just as difficult, or even harder, to obtain an auto loan this year compared to last. What's more, consumers don't appear to be leveraging their credit scores in seeking an auto loan or alternative credit
package. The report shows nearly one third of respondents - 31.9 percent - failed to check their credit scores prior to making their most recent auto purchase. Slightly fewer surveyed Americans - 31 percent - said they are less confident about their own prospects of obtaining an auto loan in 2012. More than one in four respondents claimed they were unsure whether it'd be more or less difficult. "Those who know they have good scores are in a stronger position to negotiate a better deal," points out Carrie Coghill, director of consumer research for FreeScore.com. "Conversely, those with the lowest credit scores will know in advance that they may find it more difficult to obtain an auto loan, and may try to take steps to take charge of their credit standing."