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That two-door hatchback with the spiffy, cushy interior bought back in 2003 may be on its last wheels.

And if industry data offers any proof, more drivers are turning in their clunkers for newer models. That transition is helping to fuel car loan growth for credit unions and other lenders.

“Consumers have to replace vehicles at some point,” said Dave Colby, chief economist at CUNA Mutual Group. “Yes, the vehicle fleet has aged, but stronger new vehicle sales should help stabilize if not bring down the average age of 10.8 years ­noted by Polk,” a tracker of automotive ­industry data.

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