Auto loan delinquency exceeded recession-era highs in the first quarter of this year, a TransUnion/S&P Global Mobility AutoCreditInsights report released on Tuesday found.
Loans more than 60 days past due reached 1.69 percent in the first three months of 2023. That tops recession-era highs of about 1.46 percent in 2009 and 2010, and the 1.43 percent recorded in the first quarter of 2022.
The spike is mostly contained within the subprime tier, with independent lenders focused on subprime loans for used-vehicle purchases most feeling the squeeze, according to the report.
Inflation and high interest rates may be partly to blame for the increase, the report said.
"The interest rate rise is squeezing the monthly budget for the average American consumer," Jill Louden, product management associate director for S&P Global Mobility, said in a statement. "Consumers set aside money monthly for housing, vehicles, and insurance, but may not pay other obligations with the same frequency, such as medical bills and credit cards. People need their vehicles to get to work to make money and pay their obligations."