Idaho, Carolinas Lead Nation With Largest Increase in Auto Loans | Herald Community Newspapers

To find out where Americans bought the most vehicles over the past five years, Experian looked at the number of car loans nationwide.


Amid a pandemic, limited inventory and skyrocketing car prices, the car buying experience in the United States has seen major changes over the past two years. To illustrate trends in 2022 so far, Experian looked at the evolution of the number of auto loans held by US consumers.

Americans held a total of 80.2 million auto loans in the first quarter (Q1) of 2022, a decrease of 1% from the same period in 2021. Still, this represents a jump of 4% from the low from the pandemic era of 77 million car loans. accounts in Q1 2020.

When stay-at-home guidelines came into effect in many places in March 2020, some car dealerships were not allowed to remain open as essential businesses, while others reduced capacity and hours of operation. ‘opening. Automakers including Ford and GM closed assembly plants at the urging of their unions, which were concerned about worker safety. Car manufacturing and sales fell rapidly.

Almost all automakers saw their sales fall in the first quarter of 2020, and the seasonally adjusted average annual rate of car sales fell from 17 million in February 2020 to 11 million in March 2020. In March, new vehicle loan terms fell. also hit a record high as they reached their longest term. already. This metric had already increased in previous years, and average loan repayments also increased, according to Edmunds’ research.

In 2021, many dealerships have fully reopened, historically low interest rates have made financing a vehicle historically cheap, and car sales are up again. In the first quarter of 2022, US car owners paid a national average monthly payment of $568, according to data from Experian. But a new problem arose: there were not enough vehicles to meet the demand. The scarcity of newer model selection was triggered by a number of factors, including a shortage of semiconductor chips from Asia, a headwind that is still slowing the industry’s recovery today. Used cars were, and remain, in particular demand as car buyers sought more availability and more options for color and trim packages.

The national number of auto loans is down from last year

Line graph of the total number of auto loans in the United States from 2019 to 2022.


In the first few months of 2020, the total number of vehicles U.S. consumers were still paying for bottomed out, according to data from Experian. In the first quarter of 2020, there were 76.9 million auto loans. It was not until the third quarter of that year that the total number of auto loans rebounded to pre-pandemic levels. Total car loans fell again at the end of 2021.

South and West lead in total auto loan increases since 2017

Map of the evolution of the number of car loans in each State between 2017 and 2022.


Over the past five years, Idaho, North Carolina, South Carolina and Utah have seen the largest increases in auto loans. Since 2017, the total number of auto loans has increased by more than 14% in Idaho. In North Carolina, this total growth reached 13%, followed by South Carolina at 11%. Utah and Florida both saw 10% increases over the same period.

Texas and Wyoming have the most expensive car payments on average

Map of the average monthly autopay in each state.


American consumers who live in the heartland of truck country paid the most on their auto loans earlier this year, according to data from Experian. Vehicle owners in Texas, New Mexico, Louisiana, Arkansas and Wyoming all topped $600 for average monthly payments. Texans led the way with an average monthly auto payment of $662 during the first quarter of 2022. In Wyoming, the average monthly payment was $636 per month, while Louisiana homeowners paid an average monthly payment of $630. Meanwhile, car owners in Rhode Island had the lowest average monthly car payments at $461 per month, followed by owners in Michigan ($480) and Massachusetts ($483).

This story originally appeared on Experian and was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.