Credit approvals ease … just a touch

Jim Henry is a special correspondent for Automotive News
Happy days aren’t here again yet. But tough auto lending standards eased a bit in the second quarter, according to Experian Automotive.

That’s welcome news for finance managers who have faced tougher loan approvals since the credit crunch began in late 2008.

The average credit score on new-vehicle loans fell a couple of points to 772. That’s down ever so slightly from 774 in the corresponding period last year and 776 in the first quarter of this year.

A 772 score is still way up in the prime category. But it was the first quarterly decline since 2007, and that’s a sign auto lenders may have eased up slightly, according to Melinda Zabritski, director of automotive credit for Experian Automotive.