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It looks like Americans are feeling more confident about borrowing money again, at least when it comes to their cars. Credit reporting giant Equifax has released its latest National Consumer Credit Trends Report, and the data suggests that auto lending is booming in 2014.

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'Generation N' Will Sap Long-Term Demand

The industry is on pace to sell more than 16 million cars this year ... but don't break out the party hats and champagne just yet.

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Ally Financial has agreed to pay a $98-million fine to settle an investigation into unfair lending practices overseen by the Justice Department and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). In an investigation of lending practices in the year after April 2011, the government agencies determined that Ally Financial and Ally Bank charged roughly 235,000 Asian/Pacific Islander, Black and Hispanic borrowers higher interest rates than their credit profiles warranted and higher rates than white

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For car shoppers doing their math on lifecycle ownership costs, hybrid electric vehicles always present the challenge of being more expensive – maybe $5,000 more – than comparable non-hybrid models. High gasoline prices can help tip the scale in favor of gas-electrics, as do great loan and lease deals. Resale value is another factor in the equation, and several hybrid models, including a plug-in hybrid version, have been on the market long enough to show their long-term value.

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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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Two days ago we told you about Cerberus head Stephen Feinberg's rather sanguine thoughts on Chrysler. Cerberus' other big auto investment, GMAC, is having a few issues of its own. Last year GMAC's auto lending division posted a profit of $1.77 billion, but losses in the mortgage loan division turned that into a $2.33 billion for the entire company. So, GMAC is doing what companies often do in these situations: positioning itself "with a more competitive cost structure and greater operational fle

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