Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2006, 07:00 PM UPDATED 11:59 AMBy Nick Zulovich
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Interest rates for new-car loans through auto finance companies dipped in the third quarter, coming in at an average of 3.24 percent, according to the Federal Reserve Board.
More specifically, the measurement hit its lowest point of the year so far during July when it dropped to 2.07 percent. It slowly crept back up in August, reaching 3.69, and climbed to almost 4 percent by September, coming in at 3.97 percent.
Comparatively speaking, the median interest rate at auto finance companies was 5.34 percent in the first quarter and 5.62 percent in the second quarter.
Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve said the average maturity for these loans was 64.2 months in the third quarter. Broken down, this data came in at 66.5 months in July, 62.9 months in August and 63.3 months in September. In the first quarter, this number was 61.8 and it was 61 in the second quarter.
The median loan-to-value ratio reached 93 for the quarter, compared to remaining steady at 90 for both the first and second quarters. Looking month-by-month, the loan-to-value ratio was 96 in July, 91 in August and 92 in September.
The average amount financed also fluctuated from previous quarters. According to the Federal Reserve, consumers financed an average of $27,111 in the third quarter, compared to $24,926 in the first quarter and $25,300 in the second quarter.
In July, this statistic came in at $28,052. As for August and September, the average amount financed through auto finance companies was $26,468 and $26,813, respectively.
Looking at commercial banks, the Federal Reserve reported that the average interest rate was 7.95 percent for an auto loan during the period, up from 7.39 percent in the first quarter and up from 7.60 percent in the second quarter.
On a month-by-month basis, the median interest rate was only posted by the Federal Reserve for August at 7.95 percent.
"Consumer credit increased at an annual rate of 3 1/2 percent in the third quarter," reported the Federal Reserve Board. "In September, consumer credit decreased at an annual rate of 1/2 percent, as an increase in revolving credit was offset by a decrease in nonrevolving credit."