Know your financing options and apply for preapproval
Buying a car is one of life’s special moments. The celebration dance says it all. And, for many buyers, getting the green light on a new or used car loan is the spark that makes it possible.
When you’re looking for that financing, there are two main avenues to pursue: indirect lenders, such as auto dealerships, and direct lenders, like RoadLoans, where qualified buyers can get preapproved before shopping for a vehicle.
Getting preapproved for new and used car loans comes with some big advantages, and it’s the approach recommended by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a federal agency protecting consumer interests. Shopping around for preapproval may save you time, money and effort, and ease stress at the dealership.
“Preapprovals allow you to compare rates without the time pressure you may feel once you are at the dealership,” says the bureau. “Then, at the dealership you can focus more attention on items like your trade-in or auto choice.”
As an online lender, RoadLoans makes the new and used auto financing process simple. Our short, secure application page enables you to apply for preapproval in minutes and receive an instant decision.
Run the numbers
Before you dive in, you may want to use our auto finance calculators to see how things add up. Our budget calculator helps consumers see where a car payment might fit into their finances. And the affordability and auto loan calculators are tools to estimate what you can afford to spend on a new or used car in total, and as a monthly payment.
Check your credit reports
Consider checking your credit reports before you apply, too. Credit score, which is an indicator of your creditworthiness, is based in part upon the credit history contained in your credit reports. A credit score is a significant factor, though not the only one, in an auto lender’s decision process. “Usually a higher score makes it easier to qualify for a loan and may result in a better interest rate,” says the CFPB.
The CFPB advises consumers to review their reports for accuracy before making a major purchase like buying a car.
What if you have bad credit?*
You can still apply for a car loan with RoadLoans if you have bad credit – we accept applications from consumers with all credit profiles, including those with no credit history, and who have been through bankruptcy. Our application process also enables you to apply with a cosigner. A creditworthy co-borrower may help you qualify for a loan and, if approved, improve the interest rate.
However, when you have poor credit, be realistic in your expectations. You may be looking at financing for a used car rather than a new one and, on approval, receive a higher auto loan rate than someone with better credit.
New and used car loan rates
At RoadLoans, we offer competitive new and used auto loan rates to qualified buyers. We prepare multiple offers for approved applicants, tailored to their unique car-buying needs, as part of our flexible approach to financing.
Buying a car with RoadLoans
We want to make new and used car financing as smooth as possible. As an online, direct-to-consumer lender, our process is fast, efficient and offers many advantages.
- You can apply for car loans from home, work or your mobile device in just a few minutes, and receive an immediate decision.
- We accept auto loan applications to buy a car from a dealership, as well as applications for private party auto loans.
- Qualified buyers get preapproved and know exactly the terms for which they can purchase a new or used vehicle before they shop.
- If approved, download and print the loan documents, review the details, and take them with you to a RoadLoans preferred dealer recommended during the application process. Approvals are valid for 30 days and there’s no obligation to activate the loan offer.
- As you step into the showroom, shop with the confidence of a cash buyer, auto loan voucher in hand.
- Once you’ve selected your vehicle and settled the price, the dealer will work with us to finalize the financing.
Apply for new and used car loans online.
Applying online takes just a few minutes, it’s free, and you’ll get an instant decision.
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* “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), Bankrate.com, Credit.com, Investopedia, NerdWallet.com 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 RoadLoans.com and Santander Consumer USA.