Alan Helfman, a car dealer in Houston, served a woman in his showroom last month with a credit score lower than 500 and a desire for a new Dodge Dart for her daily commute. She drove away with a new car.
Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co., gaining ground over Japanese automakers with their most stylish sedans and small cars since the 1970s, are topping Toyota Motor Corp. in customer loyalty, researcher Experian Automotive said.
Carfinco Financial Group Inc., the Canadian car lender trading close to a record high, plans to increase its U.S. loan portfolio by 20 percent next year by targeting high-risk borrowers who have filed for bankruptcy or missed credit payments.
Three years ago, credit was so tight that the owner of a legal firm with a $400,000 salary and a very good credit score of more than 700 couldn’t get financed to buy the car he wanted from Michael Mosser’s dealership.
CarMax Inc. declined the most in more than two years after the largest U.S. seller of used cars reported quarterly profit that missed analysts’ estimates and said third-party lenders are getting stricter on subprime loans.
Lenders are charging U.S. car buyers the lowest interest rates in at least four years as fewer borrowers fall behind on their payments, supporting demand for new vehicles, according to researcher Experian Automotive.