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23Surprise! Credit agency says Michiganders have lowest average auto loan balances of any state

With today's dire economic climate, it should come at no surprise that delinquencies on automotive loans climbed last year. But what's perhaps counter-intuitive is, despite a particularly acute financial crunch, Michigan's residents owe less on their car and truck loans than their counterparts in any other state. In fact, 35 states have a higher delinquency rate than Michigan, according to the latest findings of TransUnion, one of the country's largest consumer credit agencies.

11REPORT: Car loan delinquincies jump almost 9 percent

Delinquent auto loans, those more than 60 days past due, are on the rise. According to credit reporting agency TransUnion, they ballooned 8.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008 when compared with the same period a year earlier. While glancing at the Detroit News headline would lead most to think delinquencies are now in double-digits nationwide, the actual default rate has risen to just .86 percent (up from .79 percent) – yeah, less than 1 percent (as optimists at Autoblog, we like to a

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