Experian recorded a 60-day delinquency rate of 0.41 percent in the second quarter, down slightly from the 0.44 percent observed in that period of 2020. That represented an improvement from the 0.62 percent seen before the coronavirus pandemic, in the second quarter of 2019.
The analytics firm observed that 99 percent of the auto loan accounts paid up in the first quarter remained current.
Experian did note an uptick in 30-day delinquency rates, from 1.26 percent in the second quarter of 2020 to 1.31 percent in the same period this year. The rate was 2 percent in the second quarter of 2019.
"Overall, delinquency is really improving over prior years," Melinda Zabritski, Experian's senior director of automotive financial solutions, said in a webinar accompanying the release of the data Aug. 19.
Zabritski said these findings ran counter to the increase in delinquency lenders had predicted to her in conversations months ago.
"We just didn't see that," she said.
Delinquency also tends to fall during tax season as Americans receive refund checks, Zabritski said. It's possible Americans might fall behind more in the future, but "we just haven't seen it yet."
AFSA Communications Director Dan Bucherer said Aug. 18 that Americans tend to prioritize auto loans over other bills when money gets tight.
"They need to go to work," he said.