From the very first time one person loaned another person their hard-earned money or goods, there has been a level of risk on whether they would ever see their money or property again. As the lender, finding that balance between risk and reward created the concepts of payment plans, requiring borrowers to pay back more than the total amount they originally received, as well as sophisticated algorithms for lenders to use to determine how lenient or restrictive to make their lending policies.
We are currently in a highly contemplative and speculative time when it comes to determining that perfect balance in auto finance. After seven consecutive years of vehicles sales gains, the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) is forecasting that vehicle sales will total out at 17.1 million new vehicles in 2017, slightly lower than total sales in 2016. This plateau could extend into 2018, or we could potentially even see the beginnings of a period of decline, or even a period of growth and expansion. It could go either way.
Lending practices differ greatly depending on whether an economy is expanding, plateauing, or declining. Hence, the period of reflection. Of course, a plateau at 17.1 million vehicles means that the consumer appetite for auto finance is still strong.
According to Experian’s latest State of Auto Finance Market Report, the total automotive open loan balance reached another record high in the second quarter of 2017, topping $1.1 billion. Average loan amounts remained high across all credit tiers, as well as across both new and used vehicles. Continue reading