Americans Are Borrowing More Than Ever For Cars

Average new-vehicle loan rises to $31,099 in the fourth quarter, Experian says.

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Rising interest rates are not stopping U.S. consumers from accumulating a record amount of red ink to purchase new and used vehicles.

The average new vehicle loan rose to a record $31,099 in the final three months of 2017, while the average loan for a used vehicle climbed to a record $19,589, according to an analysis by Experian. 

The fourth-quarter figures have the average monthly payment for a new vehicle at $515, its highest ever, while the average loan payment for a used vehicle came to $371 a month, according to the provider of credit reporting services.

Americans are not just borrowing more to buy vehicles, they are also extending the time it takes to pay the loans, taking an average of 69 months to pay off new-car loans and just over 64 months for used vehicles, according to Experian.