Andrew Haughwout, Donghoon Lee, Joelle W. Scally, and
 Wilbert van der Klaauw

Today, the New York Fed released the Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit for the second quarter of 2014. Aggregate debt was relatively flat in the second quarter as housing-related debt shrank, held down by sluggish mortgage originations. But non-housing debt balances increased across the board, with especially strong gains in auto loans. Auto loan balances, which include leases, have increased for thirteen straight quarters, and originations have not been this high since the third quarter of 2006. The Quarterly Report and the following analysis are based on data from the New York Fed’s Consumer Credit Panel, a nationally representative sample drawn from anonymized Equifax credit data.
  Once again, news reports are pointing to a boom in subprime auto lending, and the concerns raised by such a boom and its associated risks have prompted a Justice Department investigation. Last year, amid similar stories, we published the post “Who Is Driving the Auto Lending Recovery?” which showed that 23 percent of auto loans were originated by borrowers with credit scores below 620. This share, though significant, is still lower than the 25 to 30 percent share seen during the years preceding the Great Recession. We’ve now revisited these statistics, and find again that the share has increased only slightly since 2010 (see our interactive charts).