How to get a second chance on an auto loan

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Getting declined for an auto loan can be frustrating but doesn’t have to stop you in your tracks.

Often, a rejection decision results from bad credit,* yet there are many lenders who will loan to people with poor credit scores, so it makes sense to look for a second chance.

A lender like RoadLoans, for example, accepts applications from consumers with a wide range of credit and has years of experience helping customers move forward in the vehicles they want.

Here’s how to go about getting that second chance at an auto loan.


Check your credit report

There might be errors in your credit history reports that are hindering your chances of getting approved. Request a free copy from the major reporting agencies, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, and dispute any mistakes you find.


Calculate a loan

If you haven’t already done so, use auto finance calculators to estimate how much you can afford to spend on a car in total and what an affordable monthly payment may be. Once you’ve seen the numbers, you can plan for the right loan.


Put more money down

Money down (which can be cash, a trade in or both) is one of a number of factors lenders will evaluate. Increasing what you can pay for a car up front, and reducing the loan amount, will help your case.


Go in with a co-applicant or cosigner

Adding a creditworthy co-applicant or cosigner to your application shows a potential lender there’s less risk ahead. If approved, a co-applicant becomes a coborrower with equal rights and responsibilities on the car and the loan. A cosigner, meanwhile, will agree to make any missed payments, or repay the full loan amount if required, but has no rights to the vehicle.


Consider building credit

Establishing or restoring a good credit history before you apply again will likely improve your second chance at a loan approval. Consumers with better credit generally pay less for their money so, if approved, you may also benefit from better terms, such as a lower APR.


Compare options

Apply for financing with a number of lenders to see what they may offer. Main options include credit unions, dealers, banks and other finance companies, such as online lender RoadLoans. What about “buy here, pay here” dealerships? Think carefully, as interest rates can be much higher than at other lenders, warns the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. If you get some green lights, pick the loan with the most favorable terms for you.


Apply for a second chance in minutes

Whether your bad credit stems from a few late payments, a repossession or discharged bankruptcy, it’s easy to apply for financing with RoadLoans.

Our online application takes just a few minutes to complete, from your desktop or mobile device, and we provide instant decisions. If approved, you’ll receive multiple offers so you can choose the option that best matches your needs. After you’ve made a selection, print your loan packet, gather the required documents and visit the preferred dealership listed.

Alternatively, use our dealer locator to find another. As part of national lender Santander Consumer USA, we work with 15,000 trusted dealers that are able to show you select cars meeting our high standards. That means you can close the deal and drive with confidence.

If you’re in need of a second chance on an auto loan, apply with RoadLoans and get a decision in seconds.


* “Bad” or “poor” credit generally is considered a FICO score around 600 and below by sources including the Consumer Federation of America and National Credit Reporting Association (reported by the Associated Press),,, Investopedia, and others. The Congressional Budget Office identifies a FICO score of 620 as the “cutoff” for prime loans. FICO scores are not the sole factor in lending decisions by and Santander Consumer USA.


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