How RoadLoans works: I got my car loan, now what?

Young couple receiving car keys from dealer


It’s time for a broad smile. Your RoadLoans approval means you now have a big advantage as you move onto buying your next car.

Preapproval gives you the terms of your financing before visiting the dealership so that, on arrival, you can focus on selecting the right model and negotiating a great deal on price.

Your next step is to download and print your loan packet, gather the required supporting documents, and visit the preferred dealership located nearby. You’ll find details of your dealership within your loan papers. Alternatively, you can use our dealer locator to find another. We work with 14,000 auto dealers nationwide that are able to show our customers select, high-quality cars meeting our standards for age, mileage and financing. Once you’ve chosen the model and agreed the price, RoadLoans will work with the dealership to finalize the paperwork.

Before visiting a dealership, however, there are some important additional steps to consider; whether you get your loan through RoadLoans or someone else, and whether you’re shopping for a new or used vehicle.

Know what you’re willing to pay – A preapproval will let you know the amount for which you can finance a car, but it’s still a good idea establish what you’re willing to pay for a vehicle. You may want to include any add-ons, such as a trim package or GAP insurance, within your loan amount in order to stay on budget.

Know your trade-in value – If you have a vehicle to trade in, find out its trade-in value through sources such as NADA Guides and Kelley Blue Book so you can negotiate a fair price for it with the dealer. Another option to think about is selling the car privately and then using the money for a down payment.

Prepare to negotiate – Once you’ve found your car you can negotiate with the dealership on its sale price. If you already know the type of vehicle you want, look up its market value before you go to help your negotiations. When you’re at the dealership, consider starting at the invoice price – which is what the dealer paid for the vehicle – rather than the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, which will be displayed on the window sticker. The dealership may be willing to negotiate a price between the two.


Haven’t applied for financing with RoadLoans yet?

Applying is easy and takes just a few minutes. Complete our short online application by entering some basic information, and get a decision in seconds. We accept applications from consumers with a broad range of credit, including bad credit.*



* “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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