Distressed automaker General Motors Co repaid its government loans way ahead of schedule and is now on a strong path to viability, the Treasury Department said on Wednesday

The Treasury confirmed that GM had repaid in full the $4.7 billion balance it owed under the government's Trouble Asset Relief Program, five years before the loan maturity date and ahead of an accelerated repayment schedule set last year.

We are encouraged that GM has repaid its debt well ahead of schedule and confident that the company is on a strong path to viability, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said in a statement.

The company has now repaid a total $6.7 billion in debt owed to the treasury after a bailout last year. GM emerged from bankruptcy in July 2009.

This continued progress is a positive sign for our auto investment - not only more funds recovered for the taxpayer but also countless jobs saved and the successful stabilization of a vital industry for out country, Geithner said.

After the repayment, the remaining Treasury stake in GM consists of $2.1 billion in preferred stock and 60.8 percent of the common equity, the department said.

Total repayments the government's finance rescue program, known as TARP, stand at $186 billion -- well ahead of last fall's repayment projections for 2010.

With this repayment, less than $200 billion in TARP disbursements remain outstanding, the department said.

(Reporting by Nancy Waitz; editing by Patrick Graham)