Used Car Loans' Sky-High Rates Latest Banking Scandal

New Laws California
Rich Pedroncelli/AP
By Maria Vultaggio | @mariamzzarella |

Millions of Americans with shoddy credit are being offered auto loans by used car dealerships, regardless of their ability to pay back the money, the New York Times reported Sunday. As a result, the loans come with terms that take advantage of desperate customers who aren't financially savvy.

The trend is similar to the frenzied subprime market in 2008, which in turn helped kick off the 2008 financial crisis.

The Times told the story of a man who received a loan for more than $15,000 even though he hadn't worked since 1991, was living off Social Security and whose application said he made $35,000 annually. The bank ultimately repossessed his car.

The number of auto loans being given to people who have tarnished credit has risen more than 130 percent in the five years since the financial crisis, the Times wrote. One in four people, who aren't considered prime candidates or those with a credit score of less than 640, are being granted auto loans.

These loans have exploded with investors benefiting from the high interest rates. The Times found interests rates could exceed 23 percent after looking at more than 100 bankruptcy court cases, dozens of civil lawsuits against lenders and hundreds of loan documents. The payments would total many times the actual purchase price, potentially hurling vulnerable borrowers into further debt and sometimes bankruptcy.

Following the mortgage boom, the Times found dozens of loans that included falsified information about borrowers' income and employment, which led people who had lost their jobs, in bankruptcy or living on Social Security to qualify for loans they couldn't afford.

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We keep hearing how Warren Buffett gives bllions to charity. It's a lie.
Warren Buffett makes 10 million dollars a day selling insurance to GEICO customers yet he only pays himself $100,000 a year and he lives in a $38,500 house in frozen Nebraska.
He doesn't even spend it on himself and he's giving billions away ? Yeah sure.

July 22 2014 at 5:55 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Perhaps the CFPB should look into the three Credit Bureaus and their lust to help the "banks" keep the interest rates so high with keeping even PAID DEBTS on your credit reports for 7 YEARS. I can see 36 months but 7 YEARS, really?

July 22 2014 at 7:22 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply