The total number of auto loans outstanding in March 2014 was more than 320 million, which is the highest since Sept. 2009, according to the latest Equifax National Consumer Trends report issued today.
The total balance on all those outstanding loans was $874 billion. That’s a 10.3% increase from the same time last year.
“Spring is here and consumers’ desire for credit appears to be rising alongside the mercury,” said Amy Crews Cutts, chief economist at Equifax. “Despite the relatively low numbers of new and used vehicles sold in January, auto originations were up nearly 20% from the same time last year.”
She said the growth suggests consumers are responding positively to the generous terms and greater credit availability in the auto space.