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Auto loan delinquencies fall to lowest rate since 1999

Aug 30, 2012 Philip Burgess

Consumer credit data continues to improve, as new research reports the auto loan delinquency rate has hit its lowest level since 1999. TransUnion, which began tracking the data in 1999, reports that the ratio of borrowers who have auto loan payments 60 or more days past due has dropped to 0.33 percent for the second quarter of 2012. This is a 0.03 percent decline from the previous quarter. Year-over-year, the improvement is even starker. The research highlights that compared to the second quarter of 2011, auto loan delinquencies fell 25 percent, an improvement TransUnion attributes in part to the value ascribed to owning an automobile. "Consumers with car loans have more equity in their vehicle than they have in the recent past because of the strong used car vehicle market," said Peter Turek, automotive vice president of TransUnion's financial services business unit. "Consumers want to keep their auto loan relationships in good standing." This is part of an overall trend among consumers, according to ABC News, and is spurring easier access to loans for consumers.