Car Dealers No Longer Fear Bruised Credit

July 10, 2013
USA Today 
auto financing news

For the auto industry and car dealers across the nation, sustained sales growth made last month the best June since 2007. This is partly due to the ready availability of credit for new- and used-car buyers, even so-called subprime borrowers. "A couple of years ago, the only way I could buy a car was to go to the 'buy-here, pay-here' route, with a lot of money down and big payments," said 58-year-old Ed Webster of Nashville. "But that vehicle is almost paid off now, and I've been able to use my payment history on that one to help me get bank financing for my next car." Loans to buyers with credit scores below 640 have picked up significantly since the recession, and those loans now make up about 11 percent of all new-car borrowing, nearly double what they were in 2009. However, vehicle repossessions in the first quarter of 2013 jumped nearly 17 percent compared with the same period last year, according to Experian Automotive. Many independent lenders have entered the subprime market in the last several years, according to Mark Kaczynski, president of Nissan Motor Acceptance Corp., the finance arm of Nissan North America. Traditional banks are also getting into subprime auto lending, as well as capital-investment groups that see a way to get higher yields on their money.

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