Channel | Auto Industry News

Equifax Refutes ‘Subprime Bubble’ in New Report

ATLANTA — Equifax Inc. has released its latest economic trends commentary, “Subprime Auto Loans: A Second Chance at Economic Opportunity,” which examines two groups of consumers with deep subprime credit scores over a three-year period: those who originated a subprime auto loan and those who did not.

Equifax found that over the three-year time period, those consumers with deep subprime credit scores that originated a subprime auto loan showed, in aggregate, a significant increase in their credit score. In fact, those consumers improved their credit score by a median of 52 points, which is a 62.5% improvement over the median score change of the group that did not take out a loan. Even more telling, those that took out a subprime auto loan were four times more likely than those who did not to have improved their score to a level above 640, moving them out of the subprime segment.

“The auto industry’s success wouldn’t be what it is today if it weren’t for the responsible, solid subprime loans made to the many Americans in need of a car to get to their jobs or take their children to school,” Chief Economist Amy Crews Cutts and Deputy Chief Economist Dennis Carlson said. “Lenders now have better tools, more data and enhanced technology available to them to make sounder and safer decisions. While we should all continue to remain vigilant, we can confidently say that subprime auto lending is currently performing well, it’s not growing as quickly as prime lending, and our data does not suggest that a bubble is forming.”

“I started my career sitting across the loan desk from thousands of nonprime families in need of a vehicle — each of them having a story about circumstances that resulted in their less than perfect credit score,” said Lou Loquasto, auto finance leader at Equifax. “It was rewarding to watch these customers diligently make the most of these second chances and see a high percentage graduate to a prime credit standing — empowering them to take full advantage of their newfound financial well-being.”

To read the full report, click here.

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