Ally Financial has repaid the U.S. Treasury $5.9 billion as it moves to get out from government ownership.

The former financing arm of General Motors Co. had to be rescued at the height of the financial crisis when the economy and auto industry nosedived. The government spent $17.2 billion to save the company and keep auto loans coming.

Ally said Wednesday that it repurchased certain securities held by Treasury. Ally CEO Michael Carpenter said that the company has now returned more than 70% of the investment to the U.S. taxpayer.

Detroit-based Ally also said Wednesday that it completed a private placement of 216,667 shares for $1.3 billion.

The Treasury Department currently holds approximately 64% of the common equity in Ally, down from 74%. The remainder is held by a mix of institutional investors.

Treasury said in a blog post Wednesday that it will work with Ally on a public offering or private sale of its common shares or sales of assets to complete its exit.