Easy credit for car loans driving auto sales

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Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

(CBS News/WWJ) - Car sales have been one of the few bright spots in an otherwise uncertain economy. Automaker profits are up across the board and more people are buying cars than at any point in the past few years. One of the reasons for this is the ease with which car buyers can secure car loans. New evidence shows that easy credit is a big factor in driving auto sales.

A report from market research firm Experian Automotive says not only is it easier to get credit but fewer people are defaulting on car loans.

Michelle Krebs of Edmunds.com told CBS affiliate WWJ AutoBeat reporter Jeff Gilbert that some car brands are now promoting more vehicles to people with less than perfect credit.

"We've noticed that people... for example, the Dodge brand selling to that group - has been part of Chrysler's history they've gone after that buyer so that is helping to boost their sales," she said.

"The delinquency rates are very low," Krebs told WWJ. "In fact this report shows ... that the 30 day and 60 day delinquencies have dropped significantly."

The report also said since loans are covering longer terms and people with solid credit are getting better interest rates; averaging around 4.5 percent, while folks in the subprime credit rating will pay in the area of 10 percent.