60-day delinquency rates for auto loans drop in second quarter

Experian recorded a 60-day delinquency rate of 0.41% in the second quarter, down slightly from the 0.44% seen in this period of 2020. This was an improvement from the 0.62% seen before the coronavirus pandemic, in the second quarter of 2019.

The analytics firm observed that 99% of auto loan accounts paid off in the first quarter remained current.

Experian noted a slight increase in 30-day delinquency rates, from 1.26% in the second quarter of 2020 to 1.31% in the same period this year. The rate was 2% in the second quarter of 2019.

“Overall, delinquency is really improving compared to previous years,” Melinda Zabritski, senior director of automotive financial solutions at Experian, said in a webinar accompanying the August 19 data release.

Zabritski said the findings run counter to the rise in delinquency that lenders had predicted to him in conversations months ago.

“We just didn’t see that,” she said.

Delinquency also tends to drop during tax season as Americans receive refund checks, Zabritski said. It’s possible the Americans will fall further behind in the future, but “we just haven’t seen it yet.”

AFSA communications director Dan Bucherer said Aug. 18 that Americans tend to prioritize car loans over other bills when money is tight.

“They have to go to work,” he said.