How to get subprime auto loans the right way


When you have bad credit,* it can seem like your options for auto financing are limited, and that can make it easy to accept the first deal that comes your way, especially if it’s a hard sell.

While consumers with bruised credit don’t have the same choices as those enjoying good credit, they may still improve their position, and avoid poor financing opportunities, by approaching subprime auto loans the right way.

Getting informed and selecting a lender

Choice of lender is a major factor in this. At RoadLoans, as a direct-to-consumer, full-spectrum auto lender, we pride ourselves on offering the tools and information that enable car buyers to make informed decisions. These resources allow consumers to educate themselves before applying for financing, whatever their credit profiles, and help them make the right choices for their particular set of circumstances.

For example, we offer a wealth of articles on different car financing situations and how to approach them, with tips such as how to learn about credit history and understand credit scores before making that big purchase. We also point to where you can find out more from other sources.

Auto finance calculators are another useful resource. These important tools can help car buyers estimate just how much car they can afford, in terms of a total loan amount, the monthly payment, and how they may fit into their budget. With online calculators like those provided by RoadLoans, it’s easy to see how changes in factors like loan duration, APR and down payment can affect financing, and how much interest may be paid over the life of the loan.

Our resources can be accessed within the sections of our website for shopping tools, car loans and auto refinancing articles, and the blog.

We encourage car buyers to shop around for financing to compare terms and services between different lenders before applying. If you decide you want to apply with RoadLoans, there are several potential advantages.

Preapproved car loans, and knowing before going

RoadLoans offers the opportunity for qualified buyers to get preapproved. Getting preapproved for an auto loan gives you the knowledge of your auto loan terms, contained in your loan documents, before you enter the dealership. It enables you to shop like a cash buyer with a potentially stronger position to negotiate the price of a vehicle. It’s quite a different experience, for example, to getting both your vehicle and loan from a “buy here, pay here” dealership, which doesn’t use a third-party for financing.

With bad credit, you might only be approved for a loan amount that’s large enough to buy a used vehicle, so finding a model that’s reliable is often high on the priority list. RoadLoans works with a network of 14,000 preferred dealerships across the United States that offer quality vehicles, both used and new, meeting our standards for age and mileage, along with our financing requirements. Buyers are not limited to dealerships, however, as we accept applications for private party auto loans for the purchase of a vehicle from an individual seller.

If you have dented credit and are looking to finance your next car, learn how to approach subprime auto loans the right way, and consider RoadLoans.


* “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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