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Data Point

Auto Credit Availability Improved Modestly in December

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Article Highlights

  1. Access to auto credit improved modestly in December according to the Dealertrack Auto Credit Availability Index for all types of auto loans.
  2. The All Loans Index improved 0.1% in December, reflecting that auto credit was slightly easier to get in the month.
  3. Access remains tighter by 5.0% year-over-year or by 4.4% compared to February before the pandemic began.

Access to auto credit improved modestly in December according to the Dealertrack Auto Credit Availability Index for all types of auto loans. The All Loans Index improved 0.1% to 94.9 in December, reflecting that auto credit was slightly easier to get in the month. However, access remains tighter by 5.0% year over year or by 4.4% compared to February before the pandemic began.

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Unlike November, not all loan types saw easing in December. New vehicle financing tightened while all types of used vehicle financing loosened. Credit access for CPO vehicles loosened the most, while new financing provided by non-captives tightened the most. On a year-over-year basis, all loan types are tighter, with CPO having tightened the most while Independent Used has tightened the least. 

By lender, the trends were also mixed. Credit loosened by 0.8% at credit unions and by 0.5% at auto-focused finance companies, while credit access tightened at banks and captives. On a year-over-year basis, auto-focused finance companies have loosened credit access, while all other lender types have tightened. Credit Unions having tightened the most. 


The Dealertrack Credit Availability Index is a new monthly index based on Dealertrack credit application data and will indicate whether access to auto loan credit is improving or worsening. The index will be published around the 10th of each month.

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