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Experian: State's auto-loan delinquency rates at or near top in nation

automobileACROSS MISSISSIPPI — A survey by Experian Automotive finds that 30- and 60-day automotive-loan delinquencies were up in the third quarter of 2014, and Mississippi is first and second, respectively, in both categories.

According to its latest State of the Automotive Finance Market report, 30-day delinquencies grew 3.7 percent from the previous year. Similarly, 60-day delinquencies jumped 8.6 percent during the same time period.

“While we have observed a rise in delinquencies over the past few quarters, it was to be expected due to the growth in subprime loans. We have to keep in mind that a majority of the market is still in the prime risk category,” said Melinda Zabritski, Experian’s senior director of automotive credit. “As long as consumers continue to do a good job of making their auto-loan payments on time and lenders keep a close eye on how rates fluctuate year over year, the industry should remain relatively stable. Understanding the shifts in payment behavior and the industry’s risk tolerance are important for the market because these insights can trigger actions that affect vehicle prices, loan terms or interest rates.”

Further findings from the report showed that, at a state level, states in the South accounted for four of the top five highest delinquency rates in both the 30- and 60-day category. On the flip side, the states with the lowest delinquency rates in both categories primarily resided in the Midwest and Northwest regions.

Mississippi’s 30-day delinquency rate of 4.49 percent was the highest in the nation. Only Washington,D.C., at 4.02 percent, had a rate above 4 percent.

Mississippi’s 60-day delinquency rate of 1.42 percent was second-highest in the nation, only trailing D.C. (1.36 percent).

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