Auto loan, lease balances surpass $1T mark: Equifax

August 12, 2015

ATLANTA (8/12/15)--Total outstanding balances on auto loans and leases nationwide climbed to $1.021 trillion in June, according to Equifax’s National Consumer Trends Report, released this week. That marks a 10.5% year-over-year increase for the month.

Further, the total number of outstanding accounts rose 8% in June to 73.7 million.

“Strong sales numbers in both new-car and used-car markets, coupled with the availability of quality financing for consumers, are a few of the main reasons the industry reached the one trillion dollar mark,” said Dennis Carlson, Equifax deputy chief economist.

The report also found, however, that financing has accelerated faster at finance companies when compared with commercial financial institutions.

In fact, finance company portfolios have risen seven times higher than that of bank lease portfolios, with 54.2% of all new auto accounts and 51.8% of originations coming through finance companies.

“The captive auto finance companies are supporting sales for the manufacturers, and dealers continue to work with independent finance companies to find the right loans for their customers, particularly in the non-prime space,” Carlson said. “The combination has led to finance companies growing slightly faster than the commercial bank segment.”

Additional data from the report:

  • Through April of this year, auto loan originations climbed 5.8% and accounts rose 8%, the quickest acceleration in the first five months of the year since Equifax began recording the data;
  • Lending to subprime borrowers climbed 9.6% on a year-over-year basis through April;
  • Auto loans to subprime borrowers made up 23.5% of the market through April, a 0.8% uptick from the same period last year; and
  • The average auto loan amount in April was $20,800, a 3.65% year-over-year increase. For subprime borrowers, the average loan amount was $18,200 in April, a 3.74% annual increase.