Subprime lenders court Orlando magic

Jim Henry is a special correspondent for Automotive News

Dealers shopping for subprime lenders could wear out some shoe leather at the upcoming NADA Convention & Expo in Orlando next month.

Two years ago, I wrote that the list of NADA Expo exhibitors on the nada.org Web site that were subprime specialists was a little thin. That improved last year. It’s early yet, and this year’s list already is longer by one newcomer, Atlanta-based Global Lending Services, launched last summer.

Returning to the convention are American Credit Acceptance, Consumer Portfolio Services Inc., GM Financial, Nationwide Acceptance Corp., Santander Consumer USA Inc. and Westlake Financial Services.

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services said at a conference in New York last week it expects prime and subprime auto lenders combined to raise about $75 billion from the sale of asset-backed securities in 2013 to make new loans, a 10 percent increase from 2012.

Subprime has been accounting for a bigger piece of that pie. In 2012, subprime issuers accounted for 27 percent of the total, up from 24 percent in 2011, the ratings agency said. That means that heading into next month’s convention there’s plenty of money available for subprime auto loans.