CHICAGO TransUnion said this week that the ratio of auto loan borrowers 60 or more days past due will remain the same between now and 2012. The credit reporting agency also predicts that the 60-day delinquency rate will remain unchanged at the end of 2012, and predicted that it will decrease in the first two quarters of 2012 before rising back to 0.51 percent.

Auto loan delinquencies have made a significant decline since peaking during the recession at 0.86 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008, according to TransUnion. Since that time, the rate has dropped to 0.81 percent in 2009 0.59 percent in 2010, and is now expected be at 0.51percent by the end of this year. 

“Auto loans have performed quite well since the beginning of 2010 and we expect delinquencies to remain relatively low throughout 2012 as the gradual recovery in the economy will benefit both lenders and consumers,” said Peter Turek, automotive vice president in TransUnion’s financial services business unit. “With auto loan originations increasing dramatically in the last few years, one cause for concern is that any dramatic economic pressures — like we experienced during the last recession — could elevate delinquency levels since missed payments often occur early on in the life of the loan.”

Turek also noted that auto loan originations have greatly increased since the end of the recession, jumping nearly 28 percent as of the second quarter of 2011. Quarterly originations are nearly 41 percent higher than the lowest levels observed during the recession in the fourth quarter of 2008, and have risen approximately 8.4 percent in the last year. 

Twenty-one states are expected to see delinquencies drop by the end of 2012, while 29 states should experience increases, according to TransUnion. The largest yearly percentage auto delinquency declines are expected in Michigan (-14.54 percent), Rhode Island (-14.22 percent) and North Carolina (-14.54 percent). The largest percentage increases are expected in North Dakota (72.47 percent), Alaska (25.43 percent) and Iowa (21.06 percent).  Despite the large percentage increase in North Dakota’s auto delinquency rate, the state is still expected to have the lowest level in the nation at 0.16 percent.

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60-Day Auto Loan Delinquency Projections for 2012

2010-2012    Q4 2010   Q4 2011    Q4 2012             


0.59 percent

0.51 percent

0.51 percent


Highest Auto Loan Delinquency States         Q4 2012


0.87 percent


0.87 percent


0.80 percent


Lowest Auto Loan Delinquency States          Q4 2012

North Dakota

0.16 percent


0.24 percent


0.28 percent