More Subprime Borrowers Are Falling Behind on Their Auto Loans
More borrowers with spotty credit are failing to make monthly car payments on time, a troubling sign for investors who have snapped up billions of dollars of securities backed by risky auto debt.
Delinquencies on subprime auto loans packaged into bonds rose in January to 4.7 percent, a level not seen since 2010, according to data from Wells Fargo & Co.
Rising delinquencies come as a warning sign that more loans may end up in default down the road, said John McElravey, an analyst at the bank. What may be most troubling, however, is that the default rate is already climbing, up to 12.3 percent in January from 11.3 the prior month. That is the highest rate since 2010, the data show.
Securities backed by auto loans are structured to absorb a portion of anticipated defaults, but concerns have mounted over the last year that cumulative losses on auto loan securitizations may end up exceeding initial estimates, thanks to declining underwriting standards.
Loan performance may be worsening because of a number of factors, including a rise in initial jobless claims, said McElravey.
He identified an auto finance company in Texas, for example, that began experiencing a noticeable increase in net losses six months ago. The increase coincided with a rise in unemployment in Texas, where the oil industry has been hit hard by prolonged low prices, he said.
The data are worth watching closely, he added, “especially against the backdrop of sub-par economic growth.”
To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.
If you believe that you may have received this message in error please let us know.
- Avicii, DJ-Producer Who Performed Around the World, Dies
- Deutsche Bank's Bad News Gets Worse With $35 Billion Flub
- Wells Fargo's $1 Billion Pact Gives U.S. Power to Fire Managers
- Oil Shrugs Off Trump Tweet to Rise for a Second Straight Week
- Southwest Airlines Gives $5,000 to Passengers on Fatal Flight