There was a time when new car and truck buyers pushed hard to keep their monthly payment under $500. Those days are quickly fading away.

In the first quarter of this year, the average monthly loan payment for a new vehicle climbed $15 compared with last year, hitting an all-time high of $523, according to Experian. The credit analysis company’s review of new and open auto loans for the first three months of this year found buyers of new cars, trucks and SUVs borrowed an average of $31,453 — also a record high.

Experian calculated payment and loan amounts after analyzing more than 4.7 million auto loans.
The increase in monthly payments for new vehicles is not surprising given the rise in interest rates. In the first quarter, the average interest rate for a new vehicle loan was 5.17 percent, up 31 basis points compared with a year ago, according to Experian.

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