Auto loan delinquencies see slight change in 4Q

In its previous assessment of the consumer lending environment, TransUnion found the national average credit card debt remained unchanged in the fourth quarter of 2010. Now, the credit scoring company is reporting the auto delinquency rate plateaued during this time.

The national 60-day auto delinquency rate – the ratio of borrowers who are more than two months past due with payment – rose slightly during the fourth quarter, edging up to 0.59 percent during this period. This was an increase from the 0.58 percent at the end of the third quarter.

“Our forecast for the fourth quarter of 2011 is that auto delinquency will reach a rate near 0.6 percent,” said Peter Turek, automotive vice president in TransUnion’s financial services group. “Based on our current economic assumptions, TransUnion believes that the 60-day auto delinquency rate will continue to follow seasonal patterns and gradually begin to stabilize throughout 2011.”

However, the report found consumers have gotten a better handle on their finances in the last year. TransUnion saw the year-over-year delinquency rate fall 27.2 percent from figures observed during the same period in 2009.

Auto loan delinquency was lowest in North Dakota, Michigan and Minnesota. This may be due in part to the fact that these states have seen fewer foreclosures in recent months.