In recent years, many people have avoided purchasing new vehicles, choosing instead to hold on to older models based on having less money to spend and a more difficult time getting financing.
But according to many auto industry financing experts, the market for new automobiles is picking up thanks to an increase in lending by financial and other intuitions. The Associated Press reports that U.S. auto sales increased by 20 percent in the month of February, to its highest rate since August 2009, during the government-sponsored "cash for clunkers" program. The sector's improvement has come as automakers including Ford, Nissan, Chrysler and General Motors have been offering zero percent interest rates on loans and banks have significantly reduced interest rates as well. One person who recently benefited from the advantageous rates was Mark Hawks, a resident of Washington, D.C. The AP reports that he was able to get the price of a new Ford Taurus reduced by thousands of dollars and said that it was a great time to be in the market for an automobile. "If you feel comfortable purchasing today, the deals are out there to be had," said Hawks in an interview with the news provider. Hawks was given a variety of different financing options based on his upper-level credit score of 780. He was given an annual interest rate of 3.99 percent on a loan from his credit union, but opted for financing from his auto dealer, which gave him a rate of 3.79 percent a year. "Auto loan rates are the same as car loan rates and are determined by your FICO score," Newsformatics.com, reports. "The higher the score, the less interest you pay. This causes your loan payments to be more affordable. A bank car loan is often arranged in advance of shopping by making arrangements with your bank for your auto or car loan. This allows you to know what you can borrow so that you can find a car in your price range." Auto industry financing made other headlines when the Federal Trade Commission announced it would be holding a roundtable discussion on the subject. The FTC said it would be holding the free event at Wayne State University Law School in Detroit, Michigan, and that it was looking for input from the public during the event.