The credit crunch is making many Americans nervous about whether they can finance a car or truck, a new study concludes.
One in three consumers worries that turmoil in the subprime mortgage business will affect his or her ability to get a vehicle loan or other credit, according to a survey by the Synovate research firm.
And more than 4 percent of the 1,000 adult consumers Synovate surveyed online last month said the mortgage meltdown already has impaired their credit.
Young families and minorities are most worried about credit availability, the survey found.
The survey was funded by GDEXAuto, an online marketplace that enables dealers and lenders to package car loans so they can be sold as asset-backed securities. GDEXAuto hired Synovate, of Chi-cago, to conduct the survey.
GDEXAuto President Michael Sher-idan said the survey "highlights the continuing need to offer lending to a number of cash-strapped segments."
Among other survey conclusions:
- Most nonwhite respondents said they were worried that the subprime crisis had placed their credit at risk, compared with less than a third of white respondents.
- Nearly half of consumers ages 18 to 34 expressed concern about their credit. Such concerns decline steadily with age.
- Almost half of respondents with children in their household were nervous about their credit, compared with a fourth of those who do not have children at home.
- Respondents with full-time jobs were nearly as likely (44 percent) to express concern about their credit as were jobless respondents (37 percent).
- Consumers with annual incomes between $25,000 and $50,000 were most likely to be worried about credit availability.
- Respondents from Southern states expressed greater concern about the credit squeeze than those from other regions.