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Local Dealerships Reevaluate Car Loans

As the credit crisis continues, many local car dealerships are taking a second look at whom they are financing. KSMU's Benjamin Fry reports.
These days there are plenty of cars on the lot of Reliable Toyota Superstore in Springfield, but a little less traffic from potential buyers.Tony Stubblefield is the managing partner of this dealership.He says he's seen fewer people walk through the doors, but has seen a positive attitude from those who do."So we're just seeing maybe fewer customers, but the ones that are coming in have been confident, and I think we all have a little bit of a 'wait and see' attitude," he said.But those wanting a new set of wheels may have to contend with their credit scores.As an indirect lender, Reliable Superstore provides financing through several different banks.Stubblefield says with the state of the economy, lenders through many dealerships are becoming more hesitant to provide loans."And so they actually have to pay more to borrow the money and so when they lend it out, they can't lend it out quite as cheap," he said.He says at his dealership, a person with a higher risk for credit delinquency may not have as good a chance at financing as they might have had just a few months ago. On what caused the current crisis, Stubblefield says both banks and borrowers can share the blame."They were a little free-wheeling quite frankly, that's what got us in trouble. And of course people need to take responsibility themselves. If you sign a contract and make a committment, by golly, you should make every effort to honor that committment and pay your loan," he said.But Stubblefield says it's a buyer's market, and renewed consumer confidence will play a big part in giving the economy a jump-start.For KSMU News, I'm Benjamin Fry.