Car loans, leases getting easier

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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.