Auto loan debt per borrower increased 4.4 percent to $16,769 in the final quarter of 2013 from a year earlier — the 11th consecutive quarter to post annual growth, according to the credit reporting agency TransUnion.
Even so, the U.S. auto loan delinquency rate ended the last three months of last year at 1.14 percent, below the 1.3 percent average quarterly late-payment rate for every fourth quarter going back to 2007. The trend suggests that borrowers with auto loans continue to keep up with payments, even as auto loan debt per borrower has grown steadily, up 12 percent since the first quarter of 2011.
Auto loan debt per borrower edged up in the fourth quarter by 0.5 percent from the previous three months. "Consumers are willing to take on more auto debt," says Pete Turek, vice president of automotive at TransUnion's financial services business unit.