The numbers keep rolling in. US auto loan debt continues to reach new highs. At our current trajectory, consumers will owe $1.5t—yes, trillion—in auto loans.
Not the best time for these gas prices, eh?
Any time that articles can use the words “trillion,” “debt,” “record,” and “all-time high” in the same sentence, you know there’s a problem. Fortunately, as with most problems, there are also strategic opportunities. We’ll dig a bit deeper and introduce Lending Arts, a fintech that may help provide relief to consumer debt.
US Auto Loan Debt by the Numbers
We won’t get too deep into the details. There are numerous other reports produced by research institutions already available—and they have graphs and everything.
But the big takeaways are these:
- $1.47t: total US auto loan balances as of Q1, 2022—an all-time high.
- $20,987: average US auto loan balance as of Q3 2021—an all-time high.
- $1,000: average dealer discount for new car buyers—an all-time low.
Debt is increasing, relief is decreasing, and economic indicators suggest turbulent times are here. Auto loan debt may put a pinch on consumer finances.
Auto Loan Refinancing, Strategically
The numbers above describe a country that owns a lot of recently purchased cars. Auto sales are slowing, and that trend is forecasted to continue. At this point, competing through direct auto loans may not be the strongest path to growth.
Simultaneously, with average auto loan balances over $20k, consumers with higher auto loan interest rates might be paying thousands of dollars more for their cars over the life of those loans.
Offering members auto loan refinances may be the strategic move. Providing a pathway to lower monthly payments and increased cash flow is a competitive advantage. In fact, under current economic conditions, we believe it could attract new members and contribute to the credit union’s growth.
Credit unions are already well positioned to offer competitive auto loan refinancing. However, in the spirit of Fintech Friday, we’d like to highlight an organization that facilitates this strategy:
Meet Lending Arts
Lending Arts is a fintech that connects borrowers and credit unions together to offer flexible and competitive loan refinancing options for autos, motorcycles, and RVs. Their custom API integration and prebuilt, white-label marketing materials ensure seamless, branded experiences without much lift required from the credit union.
And, while Lending Arts can facilitate a scalable auto refinance campaign, they can do the same to attract new members. Here’s how it works:
- Purchase lead. Lending Arts utilizes multiple sources for lead purchasing from borrowers that are actively requesting a refinance on the auto loan or motorcycle.
- Use the credit union’s underwriting. Once the lead is received, Lending Arts conducts a client interview, then forwards the application and required information for the financial institution to complete their underwriting.
- Close loan, finish title work. After the loan is approved and the conditions are accepted by the client, Lending Arts completes the closing (using the credit union’s internal documents). Lending Arts then proceeds to complete all title requirements to perfect the title on behalf of the credit union. Once lien is perfected and all requirements completed, the credit union gets not only the loan, but the full new member relationship as well—Lending Arts passes the baton onto the credit union so that they can help build a in-depth relationship with that new member.
Additionally, due to Lending Arts’ association with American Assurance Corporation, they can also offer auxiliary products to protect both borrowers and the credit union at a well below market price.
As new auto lending slows, refinancing is a critical way to attract new members and provide financial relief to existing ones. We like where Lending Arts fits into that need.
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