by Mike “Mish” Shedlock
MISH’S Global Economic Trend Analysis
U.S. car sales are up. It’s easy to explain why: car buyers borrow more as standards loosen
The average loan on a new car climbed to $26,719 in the third quarter, up by $756 from a year earlier, and the most in at least five years, according to data collected by Experian Plc.
Despite borrowing so much more, average monthly payments on new car loans rose only $6 to $458. That is because banks and finance companies were willing to lend at lower rates and grant borrowers more time to repay.
Lenders made 26.04 percent of their loans on new cars to buyers with subprime credit scores, up from 24.84 percent a year earlier, said Experian, which collects car title and financing information to compile its reports. For loans on used cars, the portion to subprime borrowers rose to 54.95 percent from 54.43 percent.