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Car loans, leases getting easier

By Tara Baukus Mello ·
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Posted: 6 am ET

It's continuing to get easier to obtain a car loan or car lease with not-so-good credit. The latest data from Experian Automotive shows that car loans to customers in the nonprime, subprime and deep-subprime categories are on the rise compared to the same period last year. Car leasing is also on an upward trend. “Expanding loans to lower-risk tiers opens the market for more car shoppers, while an increase in leasing means it is easier for consumers to get more vehicle for a lower monthly payment," says Melinda Zabritski, director of automotive credit at Experian Automotive.

Even though it is getting easier to buy or lease a car, lenders are still more risk averse than they were prior to the start of the recession. The latest Experian data showed that the average credit score for a new-car loan is currently 755, compared to 749 for the same period just prior to the start of the recession.

In an analysis of automaker brands, Experian identified these car makes as requiring the lowest credit scores for a new-car loan.

Lowest-scoring new-car loans by make

Make Credit score
Mitsubishi 694
Suzuki 704
Dodge 718
Kia 721
Scion 723
Nissan 726
Chevrolet 737
Chrysler 737
Ram 737
Fiat 741
Source: Experian Automotive.

Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.

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auto loans
February 19, 2013 at 4:53 am

If those are the lowest scoring auto loans then most of the American will go for that low credit score. All those statistics will help people to get car loan at cheap rate of interest. Thanks for sharing such information along with the statistical records are appreciated.

Car Loans
February 12, 2013 at 5:48 am

You have gathered wonderful statistics. Thanks for sharing. I like it.

car loans
January 26, 2013 at 12:37 pm

This makes it possible for you to avail the loan at cheap rates of interest.

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January 10, 2013 at 7:08 am

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January 02, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Very interesting....
I'm driving a 2012 Chevy that I bought - and financed - last year. And if memory serves, my credit score was somewhere around 580 at the time.

Granted, my interest rate is awful!
You can buy a new car, you just have to be willing to be robbed.

December 31, 2012 at 8:07 pm

Make a car payment to yourself for 5 years and you can pay cash. No credit score required!

joe genovese
December 31, 2012 at 4:13 pm

when you find one that handles under 600 do give me a call...

aurie ramirez
December 27, 2012 at 9:18 am

I totally am with you in your comment jmn. If having that 694 as the "lowest" credit score to qualify for a loan, I will never be able to buy a car any time soon. AR

December 27, 2012 at 9:11 am

Interesting...Honda may be the better way to go...I got a good deal with a not so good credit score. And I agree with JMN...most Americans would give an arm for have those so called "low scores". smh.

December 27, 2012 at 8:23 am

Really? REALLY? Those are the lowest-scoring car loans? REALLY?? I wonder if they sell any cars in America since the recession. Most Americans would give up an arm to have that "low" credit score. Sheesh.