Subprime/non-prime auto loan securitization is on the rise but a study by Transunion says that the outstanding volume for these loans is still below the pre-crisis level.

Non-prime auto loans, which are defined as borrowers with below 700 Vantage Score, made up 30% of all auto loans in Q3 2013. This is below the Q3 high observed in 2008, when 34.6% of non-prime borrowers comprised all auto loans.

There were more than 3 million fewer non-prime outstanding auto loans in Q3, down 15% from Q3 2008. As a comparison, the total auto loan population has only dropped about 1% in that same timeframe, or around 550,000 fewer auto loans.

Issuance of subprime auto loan securitizations however has continued to increase. In 2013 volumes for the asset class reached $21.3 billion, according to data from Wells Fargo. That surpassed the $20 billion predicted at the start of 2013 and the $18 billion issued in 2012.

Wells Fargo expects to see at least $23 billion of issuance in 2014. By comparison, issuance of ABS backed by prime auto loans last year did not keep pace with 2012, in part because automakers had access to cheap financing in other markets.

Analysts at Wells Fargo expect the trend to continue into 2014. Santander is set to price is $1 billion non-prime deal this week, according to a source familiar with the deal. American Credit Acceptance is expected to follow with its $204 million subprime auto loan securitization.

The two deals, announced last Friday, have been assigned preliminary ratings by Standard & Poor’s.

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