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Some 6 million Americans are delinquent with auto loans and it’s going to get worse

The number of subprime auto loans sinking into delinquency hit their highest level since 2010 in the third quarter, with roughly 6 million individuals at least 90 days late on their payments.

It’s behavior much like that seen in the months heading into the 2007-2009 recession, according to data from Federal Reserve Bank of New York researchers.

“The worsening in the delinquency rate of subprime auto loans is pronounced, with a notable increase during the past few years,” the researchers, led by Andrew Haughwout, said Wednesday in a blog on their Liberty Street Economics site.

Weakness among the lowest-rated borrowers plays out against a robustly growing vehicle lending market.

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