New auto finance company loans saw big increases in the first quarter of 2012 – 49% higher than the recessionary low in March 2009. New vehicle loans totaled $52.5 billion in January-March 2012, according to Equifax’s May National Consumer Trends Report. Stable loans are returning to the market, as well – auto delinquency rates in May 2012 are the lowest of all major loan types and, at a five-year low, are at pre-recession levels.
The total number of outstanding auto loans continues to climb, surpassing 57 million for the first time since February 2010. Balances among existing auto loans are also increasing, with the May 2012 total of $740 billion representing a 34-month high. Captive finance auto loans and bank auto loans are both seeing strong increases – auto finance up 46% from recession low in March 2009, and bank, savings and loan, or credit union loans increased 21% in that same time period.