Customers with decent credit who could not obtain auto financing just two or three years ago are now having more success, according to the Times-Dispatch. "We're not seeing those [loan rejections] today," Michael Allen of the Virginia Automobile Dealers Association tells the news source. "Things aren't back to the way they were before, but lenders are taking a little more risk." According to data from the VADA, auto sales in Virginia rose 11.41 percent in 2010, compared to 2009. Through May, sales in the state were up 13.3 percent compared with the first five months in 2010. The stronger auto sales market is also a product of more motorists paying off their loans. According to credit agency TransUnion, auto loan delinquency rates during the first quarter of 2011 dropped to their lowest level since the agency started tracking rates in 1999, USA Today reports. However, Ted Linhart, chairman and CEO of Richmond-based Dominion Auto Group, believes that interest rates will remain an issues for car buyers. He tells the Times-Dispatch that new banking regulations and lingering concerns about the economy are keeping financial institutions from lending as much to those without above average credit. Additionally, when a loan is approved, they are asking for larger down payments or charging higher interest rates.