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Data Point

Auto Credit Availability Tightened in May

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Article Highlights

  1. Access to auto credit declined in May after loosening for three straight months according to the Dealertrack Auto Credit Availability Index for all types of auto loans.
  2. The All Loans Index declined 0.7% to 97.7 in May, reflecting that auto credit was harder to get compared to April.
  3. Credit standards tightened in May across lender types except for auto-focused finance companies.

Access to auto credit declined in May after loosening for three straight months for all types of auto loans, according to the Dealertrack Auto Credit Availability Index. The All Loans Index declined 0.7% to 97.7 in May, reflecting that auto credit was harder to get in the month compared to April. Access was looser by 0.7% year over year, but compared to February 2020, access was tighter by 1.5%. 

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Most loan types tightened in May with only new loans from non-captives loosening slightly. Certified pre-owned loans tightened the most. On a year-over-year basis, all loan types were easier to get with non-captive new loans having loosened the most. 

Credit standards tightened in May across lender types except for auto-focused finance companies. Credit tightened the most at banks. On a year-over-year basis, only captives were tighter, but that comparison was against a time of more aggressive lending by the captives last spring. Auto-focused finance companies have loosened credit access the most year-over-year. Compared to February 2020, only auto-focused finance companies were looser in May, and banks had 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.