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Subprime auto loans surge in second quarter

Oct 17, 2011 Randy Mosteller

Despite continued financial woes throughout the U.S. - including high unemployment and rampant debt - financing an automobile purchase may be getting easier, even for shoppers with poor credit. New car loans for buyers with credit scores below prime rate surged by 22.4 percent in the second quarter, compared to the same period last year. Even consumers with deep subprime scores saw a 44.1 percent gain in new car loans. "Car loan rates are still quite high for this group, ranging from 6.7 percent to 13.5 percent on average," reports Tara Baukus Mello for Fox Business. "In fact, new car shoppers who are deep-subprime consumers - those with the worst credit and who are now more likely to find financing - actually have slightly higher interest rates than last year." Accordingly, new car buyers are advised to research the market, particularly credit conditions, before moving ahead with a purchase or financing agreement. A report released last week by Equifax found new auto loan originations made between January and June of this year were up 15 percent from the same period in 2010.