U.S. Credit Bureaus: Consumer Data Indicates Stable Subprime Auto Market

At AFSA’s 21st annual Vehicle Finance Conference and Exposition late last month, a panel of experts representing the three major U.S. credit bureaus -- Equifax, Experian and TransUnion -- concluded that national consumer credit data indicates a stable subprime auto lending market and no evident weakening in lenders’ underwriting practices.

The panelists cited factors like low unemployment, the healthy economy and risk-based analytics tools used today by lenders as some of the reasons for their conclusions.

The panel consisted of:

  • Denise Brown, Chief Risk Officer & Chair, AFSA Vehicle Credit Risk Committee, Veritas Auto Finance
  • Amy Crew Cutts, Senior Vice President, Chief Economist, Equifax Automotive Services
  • Jason Laky, Senior Vice President, Auto Business Lead, TransUnion
  • Melinda Zabritski, Senior Director, Experian

The panel was moderated by Danielle Fagre Arlowe, Senior Vice President, American Financial Services Association.

The representatives from the three credit bureaus laid out their research findings before an audience of nearly 100 media, economists, and AFSA members. The session was also webcast in conjunction with the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) and more than 100 people tuned in to get clarity on the vehicle finance industry’s subprime segment.

A press release following the event highlighted the 35,000-foot view that the three bureau’s independent research points to a healthy, stable subprime auto finance space. The release was viewed over 2,100 times and was featured in a variety of publications, including MarketWatch, Yahoo, The Miami Herald, and The Charlotte Observer. A number of local broadcast station’s websites from across the country also ran the release, including stations in Florida, Nevada, Colorado, California, New York, New Mexico and many others.

AFSA thanks the credit bureaus for sharing their research with the public, especially as it reinforces the argument that AFSA has long made – vehicle finance is strong and represents an important part of the American economy.