ATLANTA, Aug. 29, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- According to Equifax's (NYSE:EFX) latest National Consumer Credit Trends Report, the total balance of auto loan originations year-to-date in May 2013 is more than $196 billion and represents more than 50% of all new non-mortgage consumer credit originated in 2013. In addition, new credit for auto originations January-May 2013 is an eight-year high and an increase of more than 15% from same time a year ago, while the total number of new loans in that same time is 9.9 million, also an eight-year high and a year-over-year increase of nearly 12%. "Demand for new and used cars is accelerating with improvements in the economy and the auto credit industry is supporting that rise in demand," said Equifax Chief Economist Amy Crews Cutts. "The financial crisis, recession and subsequent tighter lending standards led many drivers to delay the purchase of a new or quality used car or light truck. Today, buoyed by a better economy, consumers are looking to finally replace these old cars. Lending standards are also relaxing a bit, allowing more otherwise well-qualified subprime-credit buyers to obtain a new set of wheels." Dave Foerster, VP and General Manager of Equifax Automotive, added, "Lenders are searching for additional consumer insights, particularly as non-prime volume increases. Being able to monitor risk indicators and quickly verify consumer employment and income speeds up the loan decision process and enhances the consumer buying experience at the dealership. The result is a win for the consumer, the dealer and the lender." Other highlights from the most recent data include:
- Balances on outstanding auto loans in July 2013 total $826 billion, the highest level in five years and an increase of nearly 10.9% from same time a year ago;
- Similarly, the total number of existing auto loans stands at 61 million, a 54-month high;
- By source, loans funded by banks, savings and loans, or credit unions are at $397.1 billion, while the total number of loans is 29.3 million – a five-year high for both;
- The total outstanding balance for loans funded by auto finance companies is $429.7 billion, a 50-month high, while the total number of existing loans is more than 31 million, its highest level in 46 months;
- Serious delinquencies on auto loans funded by finance companies in July 2013 represent 1.84% of outstanding balances, a year-over-year increase of more than 14%; and
- Serious delinquencies on auto loans funded by banks and other depositories are 0.34% of outstanding balances in July 2013, 5.8% lower than the same time a year ago.