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Auto Loans Reach New Highs

loansAccording to Equifax's latest National Consumer Credit Trends Report, consumer credit originated year-to-date through September has increased to $675 billion from $523 billion during the same timeframe in 2010. Comparatively, credit originations today are below the 2006-2007 pre-recession levels of about $1 trillion by about one-third.

Of note, balances on consumer credit originated over the past two years represents about 32 percent of outstanding balances, but only comprises slightly less than 6 percent of total delinquent balances, reflecting better underwriting and more responsible consumer payment behavior. In turn, consumer finance write offs have declined more than 53 percent to $70.9 billion year-to-date through November 2012, after peaking at $151.8 billion during the same timeframe in 2009.

Auto loans originated year-to-date through September 2012 totaled 16.4 million - an increase of more than 11 percent from same time a year ago and a five-year high.

At more than 58 million through November, the total number of outstanding loans is at its highest level in 37 months.

Similarly, auto loan balances continue rising - through November, balances totaled $775.7 billion, a 45-month high.

Auto loan amounts originated year-to-date through September 2012 ($318.2 billion) are more than 33% higher than the recession low for same time in 2009 ($210.2 billion).