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The Second-Largest Contributor to US Private Debt

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Car in Driveway

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s data shows that auto loans have surpassed student loans, becoming the second-largest debt burden for U.S. consumers. Auto loan debt has reached $1.582 trillion, exceeding the $1.569 trillion in student loan debt. This surge in auto loan debt is attributed to rising vehicle prices, leading consumers to take out larger loans at higher rates.

Lenders have responded to this trend by tightening restrictions on auto financing, with approximately 30% of lenders reporting significantly tighter lending standards. The pressure for companies to switch to EVs and inventory shortages have contributed to the increase in vehicle pricing, resulting in consumers financing more expensive vehicles.

At the same time, the government is moving full speed ahead to reach their target of 50%+ EVs by 2030. Thousands of auto dealers have penned the Biden Administration to explain how this policy is significantly hurting their business. The public is drowning in debt over mostly gas-powered purchases, and EVs are significantly more expensive to purchase and maintain. Car manufacturers are focused on producing cars of the future rather than autos that fit the budget and lifestyle of the middle class.

Bidenomics believes student debt should be waived for those who knowingly took on the debt. Will those supporting Bidenomics also push to forgive this mounting auto debt? Like diplomas, people may realize their EVs cost more than they’re worth and they cannot keep up the payments. Perhaps the public, including those who do not own cars, should subsidize these car purchases through taxes since that is the same premise as student loan forgiveness.

The World Economic Forum is in partnership with global governments to end private car ownership by 2050. Owning a car is becoming an increasing luxury. Insurance costs could be a topic for another time as most states have seen their premiums skyrocket. Major cities around the globe like London and New York City are implementing congestion and traffic taxes as well.

Decades ago, someone could purchase a nice car with less than a month’s pay. Kelly Blue Book states that the average price of a new car was $48,008 as of March 2023, which is 27.8% more than pre-COVID pricing. The average cost of a crossover or SUV now ranges between $30,353 and $74,502, with costs rising by over 6% every year since 2020. We will see car ownership become an increasing luxury.