GMAC LLC has said it is now granting car and truck financing only to buyers with FICO scores of at least 700, who make up about 58% of U.S. consumers.
The Detroit finance company, now controlled by Cerberus Capital Management LP, funded 43% of General Motors Corp.'s second-quarter auto loans.
On Monday it announced the new FICO score minimum and raised the rate it charges auto dealers for making loans that are not part of special incentive programs by 0.75 percentage point. Most loans will be limited to 60 months, the lender said in a letter to dealers.
"The decision was made as a result of the instability in the capital and credit markets," said Gina Proia, a spokeswoman for GMAC. "In order to prudently manage our business, we had to make some changes to prices and underwriting."
GMAC gave loans to buyers of 298,000 GM vehicles in North America during the second quarter. The company does not disclose its business by credit score, Ms. Proia said.
Automotive finance made up 42% of GMAC's 2007 revenue, up from 29% a year earlier.
Cerberus bought 51% of GMAC in 2006 from its automaker parent, which retains the rest. Chrysler Financial, the finance arm of Chrysler LLC, which is also owned by Cerberus, has not changed its auto-lending standards, spokeswoman Amber Gowen said.
Last week Capital One Financial Corp. restricted lending to auto dealers in New York and New Jersey, and Regions Financial Corp. in Birmingham did the same in Alabama.