Credit unions have notched the highest percentage of auto loan originations since 2007. Leveraging consumer inflationary concerns and lower interest rates, Experian’s “State of the Automotive Finance Market” report for the second quarter released Aug. 25 showed credit unions produced 25.8 percent of the loans and leases from lenders in the three months ending June 30, up from 18.3 percent a year earlier and 22.1 percent in this year’s first quarter. Pop the corks and let the confetti fly!
Inflation concerns are likely to remain for the rest of 2022. The Federal Reserve signaled earlier this month that it plans to continue its aggressive approach to raising interest rates, with a target of 4.0 percent. However, declining gas prices across the country prompted a notable increase in the Consumer Confidence Index for August. Purchasing intent and vacation intent also increased, indicating that monetary concerns have not made a noticeable impact on consumer behavior.
In fact, consumers have made overall improvements in their financial health since the pandemic. Experian’s Melinda Zabritski, Senior Director of Automotive Financial Solutions, has seen continued improvement in consumer credit scores over the last several years with a greater percentage falling in the prime category.