A notable deterioration in the performance of subprime auto loans in the third quarter has shown approximately 6 million individuals that are at least 90 days late on their auto loan payments, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York has found.
The Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit found that even though a majority of auto loans are still performing well, and the 90-plus day delinquency rate for auto loans increased only slightly in 2016, the deterioration of subprime loans are heavily influencing the delinquency rates, according to the report.
This is likely to have ongoing consequences for affected households, the report stated. Indeed, unless a lender has agreed otherwise, vehicle repossessions can occur even if a loan payment is one day overdue.
“Subprime and overall auto loan originations remained strong and auto loan delinquency rates were low and relatively flat. Yet disaggregating results by credit score revealed significantly higher, and rising, delinquency rates among subprime auto loans,” said Andrew Haughwout, senior vice president at the New York Fed.
Auto loan debt increased steadily by 2.9% during the third quarter of 2016, which was been fueled by high levels of loan originations across the spectrum of creditworthiness. Auto loan balances increased by $32 billion, according to the report. It found that 3.6% of auto loan balances were 90 or more days delinquent.