The New York Federal Reserve reported that auto loan and lease originations for new and used vehicles combined increased 1 percent in the third quarter to $159.14 billion. Loans to customers with subprime credit scores dropped noticeably, offset by an increase for customers at the high end of the credit-score range. (See data table.)
"Auto loan originations remained high in the third quarter," the Fed said in its Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit, published Wednesday. Third-quarter originations were the highest for any quarter since the third quarter of 2005, according to New York Fed data.
The weakest performance in the auto segment for the quarter came in subprime originations, which totaled $30.15 billion, down 7.4 percent from the year-ago quarter. The New York Fed defines subprime as credit scores below 620.
That was the first negative year-over-year comparison for subprime originations after four-straight quarters of year-over-year gains in late 2018 and early 2019, according to the report.
Meanwhile, originations to customers with credit scores 720 and higher increased around 6 percent vs. a year ago, the Fed said.