According to Experian Automotive’s State of the Automotive Finance Market Third Quarter 2015 report, outstanding automotive loan balances have jumped up 11.3% to $968 billion. The rise is roughly $100 billion more than the same period in 2014.

Vehicle loan amounts and sales have continued to grow. The growth can be attributed to several favorable market conditions. Some of these conditions include low fuel costs, a decreased unemployment rate and attractive incentive and interest rates.  Compared to Q3 2014, new auto loans increased by 4.1% ($1,137 per unit), which is the biggest increase recorded since we began tracking Experian’s data in 2011. Used auto loans also grew compared to Q3 2014, but by a more modest 1.6% ($290 per unit). To put both new and used loan amount growth in perspective, over the past 15 quarters new loan amounts have grown by an average of 2.8%, while used loan amounts have increased by 2.2%.

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In terms of actual monthly payment amounts, in Q3 2015 consumers paid an average of $482 per month towards new vehicle loans and $361 on used loans. These amounts signify increases of 2.6% and 0.8% compared to the same period in 2014, respectively. As monthly loan payments increased for both new and used vehicles, the share of loan terms exceeding 60 months also grew over the same period. About 71% of all new vehicle loans were 60 months or greater during Q3 2015 (a 5% increase over the same period in 2014). Within the used market, 58% of all loans exceeded terms greater than 60 months (a 3% jump over Q3 2014).

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