Americans’ Car Loan Debt Cruises to Record High

What's Hot


2 Types of Black Marks Might Vanish From Your Credit File SoonBorrow

6 Ways the Obamacare Overhaul Might Impact Your WalletInsurance

7 Dumb and Costly Moves Homebuyers MakeBorrow

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

Obamacare Replacement Plan Gets ‘F’ Rating from Consumer ReportsFamily

Beware These 12 Common Money MistakesCredit & Debt

21 Restaurants Offering Free Food Right NowSaving Money

17 Ways to Have More Fun for Less MoneySave

House Hunters: Beware of These 6 Mortgage MistakesBorrow

30 Household Uses for Baby OilSave

25 Ways to Spend Less on FoodMore

Nearly Half of Heart-Related Deaths Linked to These 10 Foods and IngredientsFamily

5 Surprising Benefits of Exercising Outdoors in WinterFamily

10 Ways to Save When You’re Making Minimum WageSave

Boost Your Credit Score Fast With These 7 MovesCredit & Debt

7 Painless Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Years EarlierBorrow

The Most Sinful City in the U.S. Is … (Hint: It’s Not Vegas)Family

The True Cost of Bad CreditCredit & Debt

10 Companies With the Best 401(k) PlansGrow

This Scam Now Tops ID Theft as the No. 2 Consumer ComplaintFamily

6 Stores With Awesome Reward ProgramsFamily

6 Ways to Save More at Lowe’s and The Home DepotSave

6 Healthful Treats for Your DogFamily

New Study Ranks the Best States in the U.S.Family

Thousands of Millionaires Moving to 1 Country — and Leaving AnotherGrow

Strapped for College Costs? How to Get the Most From FAFSABorrow

6 Overlooked Ways to Save at Chick-fil-AFamily

Ask Stacy: What’s the Fastest Way to Pay Off My Mortgage?Borrow

Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top DollarAround The House

8 Ways to Get a Good Price on a Shiny New AutoCars

Ask Stacy: How Do I Start Over?Credit & Debt

Secret Cell Plans: Savings Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint Don’t Want You to Know AboutFamily

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

14 Super Smart Ways to Save on TravelSave

The Rich Prefer Modest Cars — Should You Join Them?Cars

You’ll Soon Pay More to Shop at CostcoSave

10 Ways to Save When Your Teen Starts DrivingFamily

Americans are borrowing more for their cars, and there's an uptick in those who are falling seriously behind on payments. Find out why.

Americans racked up a record amount of auto loan debt in 2015. The total outstanding car loan balance in the United States climbed to $987 billion last year.

That’s up 11.5 percent from 2014, according to a report from Experian Automotive. Lenders also increased the number of loans they approved for Americans with bad credit. Subprime and deep subprime auto loans increased from 20.3 percent of all auto loans in 2014 to 20.8 percent in 2015.

“[W]hile loan balances continue to rise and funding may be more easily attainable, it is critically important for consumers to stay on top of their monthly payments to keep the automotive market running on all cylinders,” Melinda Zabritski, senior director of automotive finance for Experian, said in a statement.

Unfortunately, as auto loan balances inched upward in 2015, so did the number of drivers who fell badly behind on their car payments. The percentage of motorists in serious delinquency (60 days or more behind) on their loans rose to 0.77 percent, compared to 0.72 percent in 2014.

Experian said finance companies held 45 percent – $3.04 billion – of all seriously delinquent loans at the end of 2015.

Meanwhile, 30-day delinquencies actually improved to 2.57 percent in 2015, from 2.62 percent the previous year.

Although 0.77 percent for serious delinquency may seem high, Experian was quick to point out that the number was still lower than the record of 0.8 percent, which occurred in the fourth quarter of 2007.

“While rates in the more severe delinquency category are up, it’s important to note that the increases are modest and relatively low from a historical perspective,” continued Zabritski. “Also, given that we’ve seen an increase in loans to subprime and deep-subprime consumers, it’s natural to see a slight uptick.”

Check out “How to Get the Best Deal on a Car Loan.”

Are you surprised that Americans owe so much money in auto loans? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!

💰🗣📰

Read Next: 15 Golden Rules for Saving on Every Purchase

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 2,061 more deals!