So far it is largely confined to the auto lending sector. But, given recent history, the natural question is whether subprime - which, strikingly, has kept its old name - could spread and prompt a replay of the financial crisis.

Many experts believe that the increase in subprime auto loans in recent quarters foreshadows developments in other areas of consumer credit, and that it is only a matter of time before the financial industry reverts to the fervid lending of yore, making high-rate loans to less-than-creditworthy individuals with no capability of paying them back.

Subscribe Now

Access to a full range of industry content, analysis and expert commentary.

30-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Access coverage of the securitization marketplace, including breaking news updated throughout the day.