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Data Point

Auto Credit Availability Declined Slightly in January

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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 declined slightly in January, reversing some of the December improvements according to the Dealertrack Auto Credit Availability Index for all types of auto loans. The All Loans Index declined 0.2% to 94.8 in January, reflecting that auto credit was slightly harder to get in the month. Access remains tighter by 4.3% year over year or by 4.4% compared to February before the pandemic began. 

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Not all loan types saw tightening in January. New vehicle financing loosened as did financing through independent used dealers while all other types of vehicle financing tightened. Credit access for CPO vehicles tightened the most, while used financing provided through independent used dealers loosened 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 0.5% at captives and by 0.2% at credit unions, while credit access tightened at banks and auto-focused finance companies. On a year-over-year basis, auto-focused finance companies have loosened credit access, while all other lender types have tightened. Banks have 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.