Lending Low

Help from the company store

Americans buying new houses are exploring a whole range of so-called creative financing schemes to ease the pain of 17% mortgage rates. These include asking the owner to accept part of the home loan and elaborate borrowing plans that trade initial low monthly payments for steeply higher ones later. Consumers are also changing the way they finance their new cars. More and more people are borrowing money for a car from the auto company that built it rather than from the bank around the corner.

A decade ago, 62% of car loans were made at banks, while...

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