More consumers are making their payments on time and car repossessions for all but the most credit-challenged customers also have dropped, according to the latest data from Experian Automotive.
Experian's State of the Automotive Finance Market report for the fourth quarter of 2013 (the latest data available) found that the number of consumers who were 30 days late on their car loans declined 3.5 percent from the same period of 2012. In addition, the amount of outstanding auto loan balances increased 11 percent from the fourth quarter of 2012, reaching the highest level since Experian began publically reporting the data in 2007.
While car repossessions were up to 0.65 percent from 0.46 percent of total outstanding car loans, an increase of 42.8 percent for the fourth quarter year over year, Experian noted that the increase was entirely a result of finance companies that provide the majority of their loans to credit-challenged customers.
Other lenders, including banks, credit unions and captive finance companies (run by automakers), saw their repossession rates decline slightly, indicating that the majority of consumers who are getting good car loan interest rates are staying on top of their car loan payments.
Are you staying on top of your car loan?
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.