DETROIT (AP) -- Banks and finance companies are writing more auto loans to subprime buyers, approaching prerecession levels.
Experian Automotive said Tuesday that 42 percent of new and used car loans written in the third quarter went to subprime buyers, up from 40 percent in the same quarter a year ago. That's still slightly below the 43 percent that went to subprime buyers in the third quarter of 2007, before the recession began.
Subprime buyers are those with credit scores below 680.
The average credit score for a new vehicle loan in the third quarter was 755, down from 763 a year ago but not yet as low as pre-recession levels.
Volvo buyers had the highest average credit score, at 818. Mitsubishi buyers had the lowest, at 694.
Banks are getting more confident that people can pay their bills because delinquency and repossession rates are falling. Third-quarter 30- and 60-day delinquency rates have stayed below prerecession levels for two years now.