How to choose an auto finance company, and the benefits of online lenders
If you’re buying a car, then you’re probably giving the make and model some serious thought to evaluate what’s best for you. It might not be quite as exciting, but choosing the right auto finance company is also important, not least for your finances. You don’t want to end up with a lemon sitting on your driveway, and making a poor choice of auto lender could take the shine off your car purchase just as easily.
So when you’re taking the trouble to research your next car, consider spending a little time weighing the options for auto finance companies as well. After all, if approved, it’s likely you’ll be entering into a contract with your chosen lender for several years.
Five factors to consider when looking for auto finance companies
Loan type – Auto loans are offered for a variety of different car-buying situations and not all auto finance companies offer the same thing. Whether you want financing for a new or used car or approval for a joint auto loan, simply finding a lender that provides the right service could save you time.
In addition, not all auto lenders accept applications from consumers of every credit type. Look for a lender that works with consumers in your position. RoadLoans, for example, welcomes applications from car shoppers with all credit types, including bad credit.*
Features – Beyond the right type of loan, check out important factors like auto loan rates; the opportunity to apply for auto loans online and seek preapproval; whether the car financing company works with a network of dealerships, and if it provides useful tools, resources and apps to make your car-shopping process easier.
Customer service – Auto financing can be complicated, so think about finding a company that offers clear, helpful information and is available when you need it: not just when you apply, but potentially over the life of the loan, too. RoadLoans is available by chat, email and phone.
Costs and fees – Some auto finance companies charge consumers to apply for auto loans, or include hidden fees in their financing contracts. You may also want to check if there are early payoff fees, should you want to pay down the loan balance early. RoadLoans does not charge to apply, include hidden fees nor charge for payoffs.
Limitations and restrictions – Before applying for your auto financing, review the finer points within the lender’s limitations and restrictions section. It will enable you to check whether your preferred terms also meet the auto finance company’s requirements. For example, the RoadLoans application page details requirements like acceptable vehicle age and mileage, and minimum and maximum loan amounts.
Online auto loans
With so many auto finance options available, getting online can make finding the best ones a breeze. Shopping for auto loans online enables consumers to streamline their financing process by comparing the key features of each lender and their loans in order to find the right fit for them. If approved, an auto loan from an online lender like RoadLoans may then provide further advantages as you go through the auto financing steps.
The benefits of online car loans
Fast application forms and instant auto loan decisions – no long handwritten applications and waiting days for a reply.
Qualified applicants can get preapproved for vehicle financing from home, work or their mobile device.
That means no surprises: they can shop at the dealership with the confidence of a cash buyer, already knowing the terms of their loan approval.
Online auto loans with RoadLoans
RoadLoans offers help from the very start of the car-shopping process. Use our calculators to estimate how much you may be able to spend on a vehicle, what your monthly payment might be, and even how much a new car could save you on fuel expenses.
When you’re ready, it takes just a few minutes to apply for your financing online. If approved, you’ll receive multiple offers tailored to your needs, along with details of a recommended dealer nearby. Simply download and print your loan documents and make tracks for the dealership to shop.
Our dealer network covers 14,000 dealerships across the United States providing excellent customer service. They contain a huge selection of vehicles meeting our financing requirements and our standards for age, mileage and value.
As a leading online auto lender, RoadLoans has helped thousands of car buyers purchase their next vehicle.
Apply for a car loan online
Applying online takes just a few minutes, it’s free, and you’ll get an instant decision.
Questions about vehicle financing?
Here are the answers to questions we’re commonly asked at RoadLoans.
Will I qualify for a car loan?
Whether you qualify for a car loan and how much you may qualify for depend on your own financial circumstances, including factors like your credit profile. The outcomes are also influenced by the type of financing you are seeking, such as the loan amount you are applying for, whether you are providing a down payment, trading in a vehicle or supporting your loan application with a co-borrower.
What credit score is required for a car loan?
Auto lenders like RoadLoans accept applications from consumers with all credit types, including bad credit, no credit history and consumers who have been through bankruptcy. Auto finance companies typically provide better auto loan rates to consumers with better levels of credit.
How do I apply for a car loan?
Complete the RoadLoans online application, ensuring you read the buying requirements and select the correct loan type for your needs.
How do I know my application is secure?
The information you submit in your RoadLoans credit application is protected and encrypted along the way. Our certificate is issued by the Secure Server Certification Authority/VeriSign.
When should I apply?
You should submit your secure online application to RoadLoans when you are ready to buy a car. You will receive an instant loan decision. Approvals are valid for 30 days.
How much should I apply for?
We recommend researching the price of the vehicle you are looking to purchase. Remember to apply for greater than the actual value cost of the vehicle, to allow room for tax, title, licensing, and other value-added products such as GAP insurance or an extended service contract.
Can a co-borrower be part of the loan?
Yes. We may be able to include an additional borrower on the loan.
Can I buy a vehicle out of state?
Yes. But the dealership must be willing to finance the taxes from the buyer’s state.
How does financing a car work?
Car buyers seek financing from direct lenders, like banks, finance companies and credit unions, or indirectly through dealerships that work with direct lenders. Signing an auto financing contract means you pay back the amount you borrowed to buy the vehicle, plus a financing charge for borrowing the money, in monthly payments over the life of the loan.
Visit our FAQs page for more vehicle financing answers.
New and Used Car Loans
Know the process for new and used car loans.Learn More
Buying a Car With Bad Credit
Auto financing for consumers with poor credit.Learn More
RoadLoans streamlines the auto financing process to make car buying simple.Learn More
* “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.