Car sales may be soaring to their highest levels since the depths of the recession but, in the process, U.S. motorists are running up record auto loan debts.
The combination of rising car prices and a negligible growth in wages has only compounded the problem, buyers going deeper into debt to drive off showroom lots. Outstanding auto loans hit an all-time record of $839.1 billion during the second quarter, a whopping 11.7% year-over-year increase, according to debt tracking service Experian Automotive.
It marks the 13th consecutive quarter auto loan has increased, according to a separate report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Overall, outstanding household debt was essentially flat, the Fed noted.