SOURCE: TransUnion


May 27, 2015 06:00 ET

TransUnion: Auto Loan Delinquencies Remain Steady as Access to Loans Keeps Increasing

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - May 27, 2015) - More than 71 million consumers had an auto loan in Q1 2015, an increase of 1.2 million from Q1 2014 and the largest growth since the Great Recession, according to TransUnion's latest auto report. Consumers under age 30 experienced the largest increase, with 8.5% year-over-year growth.

In Q1 2015, auto loan delinquency rates (the ratio of borrowers 60 days or more delinquent on their auto loans) remained steady at 0.99%, unchanged from Q1 2014. On a quarterly basis, the delinquency rate dropped from 1.16% in Q4 2014, a decline of 14.6%.

"Even as more consumers have access to an auto loan or lease, we're seeing a continued low level of delinquencies on a year-over-year and quarterly basis," said Jason Laky, senior vice president and automotive business leader for TransUnion.

Auto loan debt per borrower rose 3.8% from $16,865 in Q1 2014 to $17,508 in Q1 2015. On a quarterly basis, auto loan debt increased from $17,453 in Q4 2014, marking the 16th straight quarter of increases. Auto loan balances rose in every state from Q1 2014 to Q1 2015. Among the nation's largest cities, Atlanta (up 5.9%) and Houston (up 5.4%) experienced the largest increases in auto loan balances. Dallas, an oil-rich market, experienced a 1.7% decline in its delinquency rate, down from 1.05% in Q1 2014 to 1.03% in Q1 2015. "We have yet to see a negative impact on auto lending in the areas with high exposure to the oil industry," added Laky. "Loans and balances continue to grow, while delinquencies continue to remain in check."

TransUnion recorded 66.1 million auto loan accounts as of Q1 2015, up from 64.8 million in Q4 2014. On a year-over-year basis, auto loan accounts increased 8.4% from 60.9 million in Q1 2014. Viewed one quarter in arrears (to ensure all accounts are included in the data), new account originations increased 8.3% year-over-year to 6.2 million in Q4 2014, up from 5.7 million in Q4 2013.

Origination growth in the subprime risk tier (those consumers with a VantageScore® 3.0 credit score lower than 601) increased 6.2% from Q4 2013, comprising 15% of the new loans in Q4 2014. Subprime delinquency rates increased slightly from 5.14% in Q1 2014 to 5.19% in Q1 2015.

"Following a harsh winter that dampened economic activity in parts of the U.S., the demand for auto loans remained strong," said Laky. "The growth in both the number and size of new loans across all risk tiers reflects Americans' continued appetite for new cars. As subprime originations grow, the delinquency rates have remained relatively steady. While lenders appear to be effectively managing risk across all credit risk tiers, consumers may also be benefitting from an improved employment environment."

The youngest consumer group -- those under age 30 -- continued to experience average balance growth in Q1 2015. The average auto loan balance for this group was $14,995, up 3.1% from $14,550 in Q1 2014. The number of younger consumers with an auto loan balance also grew in Q1. Nearly 900,000 more of these consumers had an auto loan than in Q1 2014, an 8.5% year-over-year increase.

This information is reported by TransUnion and is part of its ongoing series of quarterly analyses of credit-active U.S. consumers and how they are managing credit related to mortgages, credit cards and auto loans.

Q1 2015 Auto Loan Statistics -- Consumer-Level Delinquency Rates

Quarter over QuarterQ4 2014 Q1 2015 Pct. Change 
Year over yearQ1 2014 Q1 2015 Pct. Change 
Auto Loan Consumer Delinquency Rates for Select States Q1 2015
California 0.75%
Florida 0.91%
Illinois 0.95%
New York 0.80%
Texas 1.17%
Largest Year-over-Year IncreasesQ1 2014Q1 2015Pct. Change
South Dakota 0.63% 0.73% 14.8%
Arkansas 1.14% 1.22% 6.8%
Nebraska 0.71% 0.75% 6.6%
Vermont 0.69% 0.73% 6.6%
Largest Year-over-Year DeclinesQ1 2014Q1 2015Change
Oklahoma 1.75% 1.38% (21.1%)
Alaska 0.76% 0.63% (17.3%)
Illinois 1.08% 0.95% (11.9%)
Q1 2015 Auto Loan Statistics -- Auto Loan Debt Per Borrower

Quarter over QuarterQ4 2014Q1 2015Pct. Change
USA $17,453 $17,508 0.3%
Year over YearQ1 2014Q1 2015Pct. Change
USA $16,865 $17,508 3.8%
Auto Loan Debt per Borrower for Select StatesQ1 2015
California $17,670
Florida $17,757
Illinois $17,025
New York $15,120
Texas $22,320
Largest Year-over-Year IncreasesQ1 2014Q1 2015Pct. Change
New Mexico $20,047 $21,306 6.3%
Georgia $17,877 $18,965 6.1%
Texas $21,227 $22,320 5.2%
Largest Year-over-Year DeclinesQ1 2014Q1 2015Pct. Change

*No states experienced declines in their auto loan debt per borrower.

About TransUnion

Information is a powerful thing. At TransUnion, we realize that. We are dedicated to finding innovative ways information can be used to help individuals make better and smarter decisions. We help uncover unique stories, trends and insights behind each data point, using historical information as well as alternative data sources. This allows a variety of markets and businesses to better manage risk and consumers to better manage their credit, personal information and identity. Today, TransUnion has a global presence in more than 30 countries and a leading presence in several international markets across North America, Africa, Latin America and Asia. Through the power of information, TransUnion is working to build stronger economies and families and safer communities worldwide.

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