Auto Loan Delinquencies Keep Slowing Down: TransUnion

Auto loansThe auto loan delinquency rate – at least 60 days overdue – continued to slide in the first quarter of 2010, down to 0.66 percent, according to the credit reporting agency TransUnion.
The delinquency rate fell 18.52 percent from the fourth quarter of 2009, and 20.48 percent from the first quarter of 2009.
TransUnion’s analysis was taken randomly from about 27 million credit files representing 10 percent of credit-active U.S. consumers.
Auto loan delinquencies were highest in Louisiana and Alabama at 1.20 percent and 1.13 percent, respectively. The lowest rates were found in Alaska (0.33 percent), North Dakota (0.33 percent) and Montana (0.37 percent).
Average auto debt nationally fell slightly from the fourth quarter, from $12,568 to $12,501. Year-over-year, auto debt fell by 0.75 percent in the first quarter.
“The national trend we are now seeing points to a clear improvement in payment behavior,” said Peter Turek, automotive vice president in TransUnion’s financial services group. “As we noted last quarter, part of the reason for the turnaround in delinquency rates is the influx of new, lower risk loans. Furthermore, this downward trend was energized by first quarter improvements in economic factors.”
TransUnion’s forecast calls for the auto loan delinquency rate to continue its downward trend throughout the rest of the year.

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