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Edmunds.com: Credit Tight, Financing Still Available

November 19, 2008

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Automotive data resource Edmunds.com has published an article aimed at educating consumers about financing and reassuring them that financing is available.

"The credit market is definitely tighter now than it was a few months ago, but credit is still available for car shoppers," said Jesse Toprak, Edmunds.com executive director of industry analysis. "Media reports about consumers who are unable to get auto loan financing are often overstated and have the negative effect of dissuading consumers from even trying."

That being said, Edmunds.com has observed the following new realities of the auto loan landscape:

• Consumer with average credit scores will be required to make a down payment as high as 20 percent.

• Lenders are restricting the length of loans; six year loans may no longer be an option for many consumers.

• The minimum credit score required for an auto loan has risen to around 500.

• The credit score required for the best loan rates has risen to at least 720, up from 700 a few months ago.

• Consumers with the best credit can expect an interest rate as low as 5.95 percent while consumers with average credit may see rates as high as 12.5 percent.

The article also provided consumers with strategies for finding auto loans.

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