Consumer data firm Equifax said auto loans made up about one-third of all consumer non-mortgage debt in the U.S.

The firm's National Consumer Credit Trends Report revealed the total balance of auto loans in December 2014 stood at $975 billion. This is an all-time high and 9.3% higher than the total auto loan balance in December 2013.

"The automobile industry had a strong year in 2014, selling more than 16.4 million new cars," Dennis Carlson, deputy chief economist at Equifax, said. "Consumers are excited about both the quality and craftsmanship of the vehicles available today as well as the great financing available. The improving economic situation has finally afforded consumers the opportunity to rekindle their love affair with the automobile."

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