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Slipping into a Perpetual Cycle of Automobile Debt

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    Slipping into a Perpetual Cycle of Automobile Debt

    Americans haven't just been taking out risky mortgages for homes in the last few years; they've also been signing larger automobile loans for significantly longer terms than they used to.

    As a result, people are slipping into a perpetual cycle of automobile debt that experts think could lead to a new credit crunch extending from dealerships to driveways and all the way to Wall Street....

    New cars that are fully loaded — with debt - Los Angeles Times

    I feel closer to adequate now that I know it's not common for Americans to buy their cars with cash. I don't feel better about the extension of auto loan term maturities, however.

    In the 1970s and '80s, car loans hovered between 36 and 48 months, and drivers typically kept their cars longer than the life of the loan. A number of factors changed that.
    Oh wow. I still thought the maximum term was for 48 months... Does this mean increased opportunities for buying repossessed cars?

    Let's eschew the "credit crunch" (already my nomination for most overused term for 2008) and use the euphemism "Yard Sale Economy."