Auto lending increasing to prime car buyers

More Americans took out auto loans this summer, as the value of car loans returned to levels from from before the recession began.

According to data from Experian, there were 1.7 million auto loans made during the month of June — down just slightly from the year's highest monthly total of 1.8 million. While the 9.6 million year-to-date loans are still down compared to numbers from 2006 to 2008, it is more than 15 percent higher than last year.

"Auto lending continues to be one of the most promising lending sectors today based on the data," said Michael Koukounas, senior vice president of Special Client Services for Equifax. "If this momentum can be maintained through the remainder of the year, 2011 year-end totals should reflect a comparable return to normalcy to pre-recession lending levels."

The report added that less than 10 percent of the loans made by banks were given to borrowers with FICO scores below 600.

Those who have trouble qualifying for a loan may want to review their credit report for any potential errors. The presence of errant marks may drag down consumers' credit scores unfairly.