Auto loans are now coming through as a growing concerns area in terms of U.S. household credit. Auto loans originations have risen, in total volume from $123.9 billion in 1Q 2016 to $132.4 billion in 1Q 2017, an all-time high for 1Q period on record. Total volume of auto loans debt outstanding is at $1,167 billion, up on $1,071 billion in 1Q 2016 and at an all-time record. Year on year growth in auto loans is at 9%.
However, origination has been more subdued in 1Q 2017 for subprime loans, with issuance for credit score below 620 falling to $25.9 billion in 1Q 2017 compared to $26.9 billion a year ago. Likewise, near-sub-prime originations (credit scores 620-659) also declined, from $16.1 billion in 1Q 2016 to $15.6 billion in 1Q 2017.
However, owing to rapid growth in recent years in sub-prime originations, auto loans currently exhibit third highest rate of delinquencies across all forms of household debt, with 3.82 percent of all auto loans currently 90+ days delinquent, the highest since 1Q 2013 and up on 1Q 2016 reading of 3.52 percent.
As noted in a recent Bloomberg article (see https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-05-22/subprime-auto-giant-checked-income-on-just-8-of-loans-in-abs), much of the problem arises from sloppy, or outright careless, origination by some key lenders.