Auto loan availability improved in August, according to Cox Automotive’s latest credit barometer reading.
Though credit access was still tighter year-over-year, it eased except for new-vehicle loans. In most channels, though, access is harder than before the pandemic, Cox said.
Its All-Loans Index rose 1.8% to 99.1, the highest level since November. Credit access tightened 2.8% year-over-year and was flat from February 2020, just before the pandemic hit the West.
Cox said the subprime and negative-equity shares of auto loans rose, combining with narrowed yield spreads to increase consumer credit access, but that average terms got longer and down payments and approval rates fell, damaging access on the other hand.
All loan channels but new vehicles saw loosened availability but were tighter year-over-year. The month’s loosening was across all lender types, Cox said.
The index is baselined to January 2019.