New auto finance company loans originated between January-March 2012 totaled $52.5 billion, 49% higher than the low in March 2009 of $26.9 billion, according to Equifax's May National Consumer Credit Trends Report.

The most current data also shows that new auto bank loans amounts originated between January-March 2012 totaled $47.5 billion, a seven-year high and 25% higher than the recession-era low in March 2010 of $35.9 billion.

The total number of outstanding auto loans continues to climb, surpassing 57 million for the first time since February 2010 and balances among existing auto loans are also increasing, with the May 2012 total of $740 billion representing a 34-month high.

Other highlights from the most recent data include:

• Auto delinquency rates in May are the lowest of all major loan types and, at a five-year low, are at pre-recession levels.

• In May, total existing auto loan balances are at $740 billion, an increase of $43.1 billion from same time a year ago.

• The most current data shows the number of new auto loans funded by auto finance companies increased 46% from the recession low year to date in March 2009 of 577,900 to 1.06 million in March 2012, a five-year high.

• The most current data also shows the number of new auto loans funded by bank, savings and loan or credit union increased 21% from the recession low year to date in March 2009 of 741,000 to 933,900 in March 2012, a seven-year high.

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