As President Biden touts the state of the U.S. economy under his stewardship, a striking number of Americans with auto loans are struggling to make their monthly payments.
The juxtaposition between Biden’s rhetoric and the harsh economic realities for many people highlights what’s become a constant thorn in the president’s side: high inflation, which continues to eat away at household income, and public opinion disapproving of his handling of the economy.
Car loans are the latest sign of such economic problems. Indeed, loans delinquent by more than two months increased by 5.3% in December compared to the prior month and skyrocketed by 26.7% from a year ago, according to recently released data from Cox Automotive.
Of all December loans, 1.84% were severely delinquent (generally defined as more than 90 days behind on payments), marking an increase from 1.74% in November and the highest rate since February 2009, when the financial crisis crippled the the U.S. economy.
President Biden speaks about inflation and supply chain issues in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
People with low credit scores and poor credit histories — those who received subprime auto loans — were