Car owners keeping up on loan payments
U.S. car owners are carrying higher auto loan balances but still making timely monthly payments.
Data released by credit reporting agency TransUnion show that auto loan debt per borrower grew 4.4 percent, to $16,769 in the final quarter of 2013, compared to a year earlier. It was the 11th consecutive quarter to post an annual increase.
Even so, the firm says the U.S. auto loan delinquency rate ended the last three months of last year at 1.14 percent. That's higher than the 1.09 percent in the previous quarter but still below the 1.3 percent average quarterly late-payment rate for every October-December quarter going back to 2007.
The trend suggests borrowers with auto loans continue to keep up with payments, even as auto loan debt per borrower has grown steadily. It's up 12 percent since the first quarter of 2011.
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