The number of auto loan customers with questionable credit is on the rise, according to Experian Automotive.

Experian's fourth quarter 2010 review of the auto finance industry also showed 30- and 60-day auto loan delinquencies had dropped significantly.

The number of auto loans that were delinquent by 30 days or more fell from 3.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009 to 2.98 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010. Auto loans that were late by 60 days or more dropped from 0.94 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009 to 0.79 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Borrowers with weak credit found more lenders willing to appove their auto loan in the fourth quarter of 2010. Loans for car buyers with poor credit scores rose from 36.42 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009 to 38.42 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010. In the fourth quarters of 2007 and 2008, approximately 42 percent of the car buyers with weak credit were approved for a loan.

The average acceptable credit score for a new car loan in the fourth quarter dropped from 775 to 767, compared with the fourth quarter of the prior year. In the fourth quarter, the average new vehicle auto loan was $25,789, and $16,992 for a used vehicle.