TransUnion: Rise in ‘subprime’ borrowers pushed up late payment rate on US auto loans in 1Q

LOS ANGELES (AP) — More U.S. borrowers fell behind on their auto loan payments in the first three months of the year.

Credit reporting agency TransUnion said Tuesday that the rate of auto loan payments late by 60 days or more rose to 0.88 percent in the first quarter.

That’s up from 0.82 percent in the same period last year, but down from 1 percent in the last three months of 2012.

The uptick in the auto loan delinquency rate reflects increased lending to subprime borrowers, or those with less-than-sterling credit.

Subprime borrowers accounted for 15 percent of all U.S. auto loans for the quarter, unchanged from a year earlier.

The average auto loan balance grew 4 percent to $13,260.

Among subprime borrowers, it jumped 6.6 percent to $12,006.

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