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Auto loans news roundup

[Jun 5, 2011.]


How much is your 5-year-old's auto loan?

Identity thieves are increasingly targeting young children, reported the Baltimore Sun on May 29. Thieves are using minors' stolen details, including Social Security numbers, to open accounts for credit cards, mortgages and auto loans.

Things have gotten so bad that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice are planning to host a forum on child identity theft next month. The FTC says that 8 percent of all identity thefts reported last year concerned people aged 19 and under, but the Sun quoted one of the FTC's attorneys who suggested that "may be just the tip of the iceberg."

So how can you help your daughter or son's identity from being used for thousands in auto loans and other debts? Guard your kids' personal details, and especially their Social Security numbers. Don't give them out to everyone who asks without querying whether they really need to know.

Auto loans delinquencies hit new low

The day after last week's auto loans news blog on subprime auto loans was posted, TransUnion published a press release that supported the general thrust of the story. The rate of delinquencies for auto loans (people falling 60 days or more behind with their payments) was, during the first quarter of 2011, at its lowest for 12 years--ever since TransUnion first began tracking this measure back in 1999.

This news should be encouraging to investors. If investors pile into the auto loans market, lenders may find it easier to extend the availability of car credit to borrowers with excellent or fair credit histories.

Auto loans constantly evolving

The speed with which the auto loans environment has evolved over the last few years has been evident and bewildering. But the changes have mostly concerned availability and interest rates. The loans themselves have remained pretty much the same.

However, it seems that things used to be very different. as evidenced by this ad in the Tuscaloosa News of June 25, 1939--more than 70 years ago. The advertiser was the National Credit Company, and the copy read: "Auto Loans. Reasonable Rates. 10 to 12 Months to Repay."

Ten to 12 months? Wow. Imagine how few replies such an advertisement would receive today. Surely cars were, in real terms, more expensive back then, weren't they? How could anybody (and, yes, many fewer owned cars back then, but even so) afford such short-term loans? Your blogger is at a loss, but if you have any ideas, please do leave a comment below.

Quotes for auto loans

Luckily, financing a car today today is much more affordable, with longer terms. If you're in the market for one, use this site to find competitive quotes for auto loans.


About Author:

Peter Andrew has been writing about -- and for -- business for more than two decades. For the last couple of years, he has found himself increasingly specializing in the U.S. financial sector.

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