05:00 AM

TransUnion: National Auto Loan Delinquency Rate Experiences Year-Over-Year Increase, Spurred on By Subprime Loans

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - Jun 25, 2013) - The national auto loan delinquency rate (the percentage of accounts 60 or more days past due) increased slightly year over year from 0.82% in Q1 2012 to 0.88% in Q1 2013. A rise in delinquencies for subprime borrowers (from 5.09% in Q1 2012 to 5.50% in Q1 2013) was a primary driver of the increase.

On a quarter-over-quarter basis, the 60 or more days past due auto loan delinquency rate experienced a seasonal 12-basis point drop from 1.00% in Q4 2012. Subprime borrower accounts also saw a quarterly decline from 6.02% at the end of 2012.

The data provided is gathered from TransUnion's proprietary Industry Insights Report, a quarterly overview summarizing data, trends and perspectives on the U.S. consumer lending industry. The report is based on credit data from virtually every credit-active consumer in the United States. 

"We've been monitoring the auto loan landscape closely for some time to see if increased subprime lending would start pushing delinquency rates up," said Peter Turek, vice president of automotive for TransUnion. "We found that while subprime borrowers are receiving more auto loans, the percentage of these loans to all auto loans made remains the same as last year so there has not been a dramatic effect to the overall delinquency rate." 

TransUnion analysis found that subprime borrowers in Q1 2013 made up 15% of all auto loan accounts. This was the same percentage as Q1 2012, and a much smaller percentage than what has been observed in the last few years.

Total Account Volume - Percentage of Subprime Borrowers
Q1 2013 Q1 2012 Q1 2011 Q1 2010 Q1 2009 Q1 2008
15.0% 15.0% 16.2% 18.3% 20.3% 19.6%

In contrast, auto loan account balances in the subprime category have experienced a rise of 6.6% from $11,266 in Q1 2012 to $12,006 in Q1 2013. In the last two years, balances for subprime consumers have increased more than 11%. Average auto loan account balances for the entire population, while increasing for eight consecutive quarters, only rose 4% on a year-over-year basis from $12,755 in Q1 2012 to $13,260 in Q1 2013. The increase is 8% in the last two years. 

"While the auto loan market has been performing exceptionally well the last few years, there is some concern about the subprime market," said Turek. "On one hand, subprime borrowers make up a smaller percentage of the overall market and their delinquency rates are actually the same as they were two years ago. However, their account balances have risen more than $1,200 in that same period placing more of an economic burden on lenders if they were to go delinquent."

TransUnion's Industry Insights Report also showed a continued increase in total account volumes with a 6.1% rise observed in the last year.

Total Account Volume - Yearly Percentage Increase/Decrease
Q1 2012 to Q1 2013   Q1 2011 to Q1 2012   Q1 2010 to Q1 2011   Q1 2009 to Q1 2010   Q1 2008 to Q1 2009
6.1%   0.5%   -0.5%   -7.2%   -1.6%

"The increase in the number of auto loans points to the general view that the auto finance market is performing quite well," added Turek. "Although the current delinquency percentage is lower than 2009 there are 82.7% more subprime loans originated now than in 2009. As the sheer number of delinquent consumers rise, lenders will need to stay focused on managing their portfolios."

Q1 2013 Auto Loan Statistics - 60 Days+ Delinquency Rates
Quarter over Quarter   Q4 2012   Q1 2013   Pct. Change
USA   1.00%   0.88%   (12.0%)
Year over year   Q1 2012   Q1 2013   Pct. Change
USA   0.82%   0.88%   7.3%

Q1 2013 Auto Loan Statistics - Average Account Balance
Quarter over Quarter   Q4 2012   Q1 2013   Pct. Change
USA   $13,150   $13,260   0.8%
Year over year   Q1 2012   Q1 2013   Pct. Change
USA   $12,755   $13,260   4.0%

About TransUnion

As a global leader in credit and information 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 comprehensive data and advanced analytics and decisioning. 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 33 countries around the world on five continents. www.transunion.com/business