Lenders hit the brakes on subprime auto loans
A new report by Experian shows the number of loans written in the first quarter for borrowers with subprime and deep subprime credit ratings fell to a 10-year low. Collectively, auto-loan originations in those two categories dropped 8.6 percent in the first quarter.
“It does appear the industry is policing itself a little bit more,” said Melinda Zabritski, Experian senior director of financial solutions. “We started to see delinquencies go up, and lenders really seemed to respond especially in Q1 of this year by tightening up a little bit.”
Despite the slowdown in new loans to subprime and deep subprime borrowers, those with the poorest credit ratings still owe more than $213 billion on the vehicles they’re driving, just under 20 percent of the $1.08 trillion owed on open auto loans.
The latest data from Experian supports Brainard’s point. In the first quarter, the 60-day delinquency rate jumped almost 10 percent, according to Experian. By comparison, the 30-day delinquency rate fell 6 percent.
“I don’t believe we are in a catastrophic state,” she said. “Everyone always talks about lenders having short memories and forgetting from the past, but again we really started to see that pullback and it just really continued into the first quarter.”