TransUnion said it expects lenders to write more auto loans next year than in 2021 or even pre-pandemic 2019. But the volume, they said, would remain relatively constant year over year.
"It's quite flat," Satyan Merchant, TransUnion senior vice president of auto financial services, told Automotive News on Monday.
Borrowers with credit scores below prime, particularly those in the subprime segment, would drive the projected overall growth during the first half of the year, Merchant said, pointing to "very, very low" subprime demand in the first quarter of 2021. TransUnion anticipates 28.3 million auto originations in 2021 and 28.9 million in 2022, with the number of nonprime originations rising from 9.4 million to 10 million and making up a greater proportion of the overall volume, too.
Achieving the 28.9 million forecast would finally push the industry above the 28.4 million auto loan originations seen before COVID-19, in 2019.