Even in the depths of the Great Recession there were plenty of folks willing and seemingly able to buy new cars. The problem for many was a lack of loans. Banks and other lenders all but shut off the spigot, refusing to do business, in some cases, with even the most credit-worthy customers.
While financing still isn’t quite as readily available as it was during the bubble years – when some lenders were willing to offer so-called NINJA loans, for those with no income, no jobs or assets – consumers are once again beginning to find credit easing up, according to a survey by Experian Automotive.
The good news for both new and used car shoppers is that loans are not only more readily available they’re also being offered at lower rates. Experian’s latest survey also found lenders beginning to wade back into the waters of sub-prime lending – though shoppers with risky credit histories are paying substantially higher rates.
“During the first quarter of 2012, car shoppers definitely found more favorable conditions for their vehicle loans,” said Melinda Zabritski, director of automotive credit for Experian, which tracks lending and credit. “A reduction in average credit scores, lower interest rates and a lengthening of loan terms are all very good signs for the market and offer great opportunities for consumers looking to make a deal on a new or used vehicle.”