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Understanding Automotive Loan Charge-off Patterns Can Help Mitigate Lender Risk

Loan delinquency rates are one of the most important statistics to track in the automotive finance industry. If consumers are not repaying loans on time, it puts billions of dollars at risk. When high dollar volumes are at risk, it is a negative for everyone in the lending world, including consumers, automotive retailers and lenders themselves. When lending markets crashed in the fourth quarter of 2008, it caused chaos for the industry. While conditions have improved considerably the past few years, lenders still need to remain vigilant about where delinquencies are most likely to occur. It’s an unavoidable fact that some loans will have to be charged off. Understanding where and how these charge offs occur provides important learning for the industry. Experian Automotive has found several clear patterns that can help lenders better understand the root cause of loan delinquencies. These can be found in vehicle buyers themselves through credit scores and length of credit history; through the vehicles themselves and their own history; and through the loans themselves by understanding the impact of high loan-to-value ratios. All of these data points provide insight into patterns of where charge offs are most likely to occur and can significantly impact the strategies lenders adopt.

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