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TransUnion: National Auto Loan Delinquencies Continue Lower to Close 2011; Down 22% for Year

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - Feb 28, 2012) - The national auto delinquency rate (the rate of borrowers 60 or more days past due) decreased on a year-over-year basis for the ninth consecutive quarter, dropping from 0.59% in Q4 2010 to 0.46% Q4 2011. On a quarter-over-quarter basis, auto delinquencies remained essentially flat compared to 0.47% in Q3 2011. This is according to TransUnion's ongoing series of quarterly analyses of credit-active U.S. consumers.

The end of 2011 was only the third time in the last 10 years that the U.S. did not experience a seasonal rise for the quarter.

"Normally there is a seasonal upswing in auto delinquency rates in the fourth quarter. Except in 2009 where there was no change and in 2003 where there was about a 4% drop, auto delinquency rates have shown upward movements between third and fourth quarters averaging in excess of 5%," said Peter Turek, automotive vice president in TransUnion's financial services business unit. "Ending the year flat is particularly interesting, because the number of new auto loans coming onto the books has consistently increased since the end of the recession, a primary driver of which has been an expansion in lending to consumers in the subprime market."

Between the third and fourth quarters of 2011, about half of the states experienced increases in their auto delinquency rates. On a more granular level, 44% of metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) saw increases in their delinquency rates last quarter. In comparison, 54% of MSAs experienced a rise in auto delinquency rates during the third quarter of 2011 and 40% did so in Q2 2011.

"National auto delinquency rates continue to remain at historic lows, and are likely to stay there as demand for both new and used vehicles continues to be strong," added Turek. "Even without a robust economic recovery, auto loan delinquencies have remained low, and we anticipate that an improving economy in 2012 will allow delinquencies to stay around their current levels."

TransUnion's forecast is based on various economic assumptions, such as unemployment rates, consumer sentiment, disposable income, and interest rates. The forecast changes as the economy deviates from a conservative economic forecast or if there are unanticipated shocks to the economy affecting recovery.

Q4 2011 Bank Auto Statistics - Delinquency Rates

Quarter over Quarter Q3 2011 Q4 2011 Pct. Change
USA 0.47% 0.46% (2.13%)


Year over year Q4 2010 Q4 2011 Pct. Change
USA 0.59% 0.46% (22.03%)


Highest Bank Auto Delinquency States Q4 2011
Louisiana 0.93%
Mississippi 0.88%
Oklahoma 0.75%


Lowest Bank Auto Delinquency States Q4 2011
South Dakota 0.22%
North Dakota 0.22%
Montana 0.24%


Top 3 Year-over-Year Increases Q4 2010 Q4 2011 Pct. Change
Delaware 0.43% 0.59% 37.21%

*Only one state experienced a year-over-year increase

Top 3 Year-over-Year Declines Q4 2010 Q4 2011 Pct. Change
Wisconsin 0.64% 0.29% (54.69%)
Idaho 0.74% 0.36% (51.35%)
Nebraska 0.49% 0.25% (48.98%)

Q4 2011 Bank Auto Statistics - Bank Auto Debt Per Borrower

Quarter over Quarter Q3 2011 Q4 2011 Pct. Change
USA $12,902 $13,045 1.11%


Year over Year Q4 2010 Q4 2011 Pct. Change
USA $12,602 $13,045 3.52%


Highest Bank Auto Debt Per Borrower Q4 2011
Wyoming $14,889
Utah $14,552
Alabama $14,516


Lowest Bank Auto Debt Per Borrower Q4 2011
Nebraska $11,287
Ohio $11,606
Kansas $11,707


Top 3 Year-over-Year Increases Q4 2010 Q4 2011 Pct. Change
North Dakota $12,751 $13,905 9.04%
Washington $12,876 $14,011 8.82%
Oregon $11,653 $12,622 8.32%


Top 3 Year-over-Year Declines Q4 2010 Q4 2011 Pct. Change
Michigan $12,276 $12,178 (0.79%)

*Only one state experienced a year-over-year decline

Supporting Resources/Links

TransUnion Trend Data Interactive U.S. Map

TransUnion 3Q11 Credit Card Release

TransUnion 3Q11 Mortgage Release

TransUnion Payment Hierarchy Study

TransUnion Deleveraging Analysis

TransUnion on Twitter

TransUnion's Trend Data database

The report is part of an ongoing series of quarterly consumer lending sector analyses focusing on credit card, bank auto loan and bank auto data available on TransUnion's Web site. Information for this analysis is culled from TransUnion's Trend Data and the anonymous credit files of approximately 10 percent of credit-active U.S. consumers, providing a real-life perspective on how they are managing their credit health.

TransUnion's Trend Data, a one-of-a-kind database consisting of 27 million anonymous consumer records randomly sampled every quarter from TransUnion's national consumer credit database. Each record contains more than 200 credit variables that illustrate consumer credit usage and performance. Since 1992, TransUnion has been aggregating this information at the county, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), state and national levels. For the purpose of this analysis, the term "credit card" refers to those issued by banks.

About TransUnion

As a global leader in information and risk management, TransUnion creates advantages for millions of people around the world by gathering, analyzing and delivering information. For businesses, TransUnion helps improve efficiency, manage risk, reduce costs and increase revenue by delivering high quality data, and integrating advanced analytics and enhanced decision-making capabilities. For consumers, TransUnion provides the tools, resources and education to help manage their credit health and achieve their financial goals. Through these and other efforts, TransUnion is working to build stronger economies worldwide. Founded in 1968 and headquartered in Chicago, TransUnion reaches businesses and consumers in 23 countries around the world. www.transunion.com/business