Car Owners Fall Behind on Payments

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Los Angeles (AP) - New consumer credit data show that more Americans fell behind on their auto-loan payments in the third quarter, when back-to-school shopping and other needs traditionally put a strain on consumers' wallets.

Credit reporting company TransUnion said Tuesday that the rate of U.S. auto-loan payments at least 60 days overdue rose to 0.38 percent from 0.33 percent in the second quarter. The July-to-September delinquency rate was down 19 percent from the 0.47 percent rate a year earlier.

TransUnion says the uptick is likely only a seasonal blip. The auto-loan delinquency rate has fallen on an annual basis for 12 consecutive quarters.

Since the housing collapse in 2007 and recession that followed, many borrowers have made keeping up with car payments a priority above paying their mortgage or other financial obligations.