Record Number of Americans Are Delinquent on Auto Loans

February 12, 2019

The number of Americans who are more than 90 days behind on their auto loans has reached a new record, according to new data from the New York Federal Reserve. A record 7 million loans are considered delinquent, which amounts to about 6.5 percent of all auto loans. This is more than one million higher than the previous record, which peaked in 2010 during the recovery from the Great Recession.

Total auto debt is about $1.27 trillion, and has exploded in recent years, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PRIG) estimates that auto debt has increased by 75 percent since the end of 2009.

The inability for consumers to keep current with their loans may be a red flag for economic growth, especially during a time of healthy wage growth and historically low unemployment.

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