Automotive credit availability was at its tightest in more than two years in May, falling in most channels, Cox Automotive reported.
Its All-Loans Index fell 0.4% to 96.4, the lowest result since February 2021. Credit access was 8% lower year-over-year and 2.8% lower than February 2020, just before the pandemic hit the West.
Average loan terms grew longer, and down payments fell. Meanwhile, the subprime and negative-equity shares declined, limiting consumer credit access.
May’s approval rate was flat month-over-month but down 2.4 percentage points year-over-year.
Cox said most loan channels’ credit availability fell for the month, particularly that of certified preowned loans, and all channels tightened year-over-year. Availability also fell across most lender types.