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Auto Loan

RoadLoans Auto Loan Review

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

RoadLoans Review
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RoadLoans is a subsidiary of Santander Consumer USA that offers financing for new and used cars through dealers, as well as auto loan refinancing direct to applicants. When you’re comparing loan offers, you may want to consider initiating an online application with this company to see its offers.

About RoadLoans

The lender, based in Fort Worth, Texas, has been originating auto loans for consumers since 1997. You can apply on the company’s website, get prequalified, and shop for your next vehicle with financing in hand. Its pre-qualification is good for 30 days if you qualify for a loan. RoadLoans promises “instant” decisions, but it’s worth noting that checking rates with the lender will mean a hard credit inquiry. However, it should not impact your credit to complete multiple auto loan applications any more than it does to apply to one, as long as you do so within a two-week window.

Like most auto lenders, RoadLoans bases its decision about whether to approve your application and how much money it might be willing to lend you on your FICO credit score, your income level and whether you can verify your identity.  RoadLoans does consider applicants with bad credit, previous bankruptcies or no credit history.

If you’re approved, the funds may be available in as little as one business day. Preapproval lets you shop at various car dealerships as if you have cash in hand.

RoadLoans: At a glance

  • Loan amounts between $5,000 and $75,000. Minimum amounts are higher in certain states.
  • Not available in certain states including Alaska, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Mississippi and Nevada. There are further restrictions on states where cashback refinancing is available.

RoadLoans offers financing for new and used cars and two types of refinancing: the traditional method and what it calls cashback refinancing, when you refinance your auto loan for more than you owe. RoadLoans lists several advantages to cashback refinancing, like a cash sum up to $5,000 to be used to pay off other debt. However, there are several disadvantages, too — you could wind up “underwater” on your car, owing more than it is worth.

Notably, cashback refinancing is not available in Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Virginia or Washington, D.C.

Although RoadLoans says that it offers loans to consumers with credit issues, it does not list a minimum credit score or ranges for rates and terms on its website. “Bad” credit, in this case, may be scores around 600. However, the cost of credit for those with less-than-stellar credit scores may be high: the average APR for Santander loans, including those made through dealers, was 17.2% as of March 31, 2019.

Loan amounts range between $5,000 and $75,000, though minimum amounts are higher in Arizona ($10,001), California ($6,000) and Massachusetts ($6,001). If you decide to apply and RoadLoans approves you, its loan terms are included with the offer.

No matter the condition of your credit or your income level, it’s important to shop around to get the best possible interest rate and terms on your auto loan. Comparing rates from multiple lenders is the only way to know for sure that you aren’t paying unnecessarily high interest rates.

How to apply for financing

Applicants ages 18 years or older may apply online, free. A co-borrower is allowed, which may improve your chances of approval. RoadLoans will ask whether you’d like to purchase from a dealer, refinance your current auto loan or apply for a cashback refinance. The RoadLoans application requires your:

  • Email address
  • Full legal name
  • Phone number
  • Home address
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security number
  • Annual income
  • Any additional income you receive

RoadLoans does not offer refinancing to active-duty service members or their immediate family members.

The fine print

  • RoadLoans doesn’t work with every dealership.
  • Vehicles must meet certain eligibility criteria.
  • RoadLoans does not finance trailers, recreational vehicles, commercial vehicles or motorcycles.

RoadLoans offers fast decisions on an auto loan you could take to the dealership, but not any dealership. The company provides applicants with a list of preferred dealerships where they can choose a vehicle with a price that fits within the loan offer’s parameters. If you don’t see one in your area, you may use your preapproved loan at any franchised dealer, but not at an independent dealer unless it is part of RoadLoans’ network.

Vehicles must also fall within certain parameters. Vehicles to be financed must be nine years old or newer, have less than 120,000 miles, and have clean titles. Vehicles to be refinanced must be seven years or newer with fewer than 105,000 miles. You may only refinance auto loans from companies other than RoadLoans — RoadLoans won’t refinance its own loans.

Pros and cons of financing through RoadLoans

Every auto loan company has pros and cons that affect how appropriate it is for your specific situation. It’s important to research multiple companies and get multiple loan offers so you can compare your options and make sure you can get terms you are comfortable with, including a payment that fits into your budget.

Poor credit

It is possible to get a bad credit auto loan, even with a bankruptcy in your past. Lenders issued 379,100 auto loans to “subprime” car buyers with credit scores below 620 during the first quarter of 2019, according to Equifax. The average loan amount for these subprime accounts was $18,934 during January 2019.

Improved credit

If your credit has improved since taking out your original auto loan, refinancing may help you save money. You may be eligible for a lower interest rate, which will reduce the total amount you pay for your vehicle over the life of your loan so long as the term remains the same. You could also refinance for a longer loan term (hopefully at a lower interest rate) and also save money on your monthly payment, but the longer your term, the more you’ll pay overall in interest.

Here are some specifics about the pros and cons of financing a vehicle through RoadLoans:

Highlights of RoadLoans auto loans

  • No fees — There is no application or early payoff fee.
  • Preapproval — You can get preapproved for a loan before you go car shopping. There is no obligation to “activate” the loan. Pre-approval is good for 30 days.
  • All credit types welcome — RoadLoans may approve all types of credit, including subprime, those with no credit, and those who have been through bankruptcy.
  • Quick approval — “Instant” approval in many cases after filling out a one-page online application.
  • Delay a payment — Depending on how your loan payment due date falls on the calendar, you may be able to delay your first payment up to 60 days.

Lowlights of RoadLoans auto loans

  • Limited information — You must fill out an application in order to see rates and terms, which will involve a hard credit pull.
  • Limited dealerships — If you get approved, your offer will include a list of dealerships in your area that accept RoadLoans’ financing. Although there are 14,000 dealers in its network, you are restricted to shopping at these dealerships or a franchised dealer.
  • Poor reviews — Although the Better Business Bureau gives RoadLoans an A- rating, the lender only received 1 out of 5 stars based on 100 customer reviews.
  • Legal issues — Santander, RoadLoans’ parent company, has been cited for overcharging customers, including auto loan customers who had their vehicles repossessed. In November 2018, Santander settled for nearly $11.8 million in restitution and fees with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau after the agency said Santander improperly disclosed terms and conditions of its auto loan add-on product and loan extensions.

The bottom line: Who is a RoadLoans auto loan best for?

RoadLoans describes itself as a subprime lender that will finance consumers with bad credit, no credit, and those who have been through a bankruptcy. It take other factors into consideration like the value of the car, your down payment, whether you have a cosigner with good credit, and your income. This can help borrowers with credit challenges get approved.

Those with credit scores above the mid-600s may get a better deal at their local credit union or with a bank they already work with regularly. If you are shopping for a new car and you have good credit, you may get better terms by taking advantage of dealer incentives, rebates and financing offers.

The rates and fees mentioned in this article are accurate as of the date of publishing.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Rachel Morey
Rachel Morey |

Rachel Morey is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Rachel here

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Auto Loan, Reviews

Review: Wells Fargo Auto Loan

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Wells Fargo Auto Loan

If it’s time to get a new or used car, it’s time to do your research. Perhaps you’ve picked out the car of your dreams and you want to figure out the best way to pay for it.

When it comes to financing a vehicle, you have a ton of choices. Wells Fargo, founded in 1852, is one of many places to consider getting an auto loan from.

Wells Fargo Auto, a division of Wells Fargo Bank, serves more than 3 million auto loan customers throughout the United States.

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo offers new and used vehicle financing through its network of 11,000 active car dealerships, but it’s possible to apply with the bank directly if you’re interested in financing outside of the dealership or refinancing an existing auto loan. You could also use a Wells Fargo personal line of credit or loan to buy a car from a private seller or buy out your leased vehicle, but you may have to pay an annual fee or origination fee. A home equity loan or line of credit is another possibility but puts your home at risk should you default on your car payments.

It’s worth noting that Wells Fargo continues to compensate auto loan customers who were charged for insurance they didn’t need or add-ons after their car loans were repaid or their vehicles repossessed. The bank’s redress program came after a December 2018 settlement with attorneys general from all 50 states calling for $422 million to be repaid to auto loan customers.

Wells Fargo: At a glance

  • Loan terms up to 72 months
  • Loan amounts between $5,000 and $100,000 for new and used auto loans.

Because a majority of Wells Fargo’s loans are through dealerships, what’s known as indirect lending, you may not know your exact rate or terms until you apply through a dealership. A Wells Fargo spokesperson said rates are based on a number of factors, including the borrower’s credit history. While the best rates and terms tend to go to those with the best credit, it’s possible to be approved with less-than-stellar scores at Wells Fargo.

Wells Fargo also offers loans for those looking for specialty vehicles like motorcycles or recreational vehicles. Existing customers may be eligible for a discount if they use autopay to make their vehicle payments from a Wells Fargo consumer checking account.

A closer look at Wells Fargo auto loans

Highlights of Wells Fargo auto loans

  • Multiple ways to pay: You could make your car payment through the bank’s online eServices function, automatic loan payments or at any Wells Fargo branch.
  • APR discount: Wells Fargo offers a 0.25% discount for existing customers who use a consumer checking account to make automatic payments on its car loans.

Lowlights of a Wells Fargo auto loan

  • Mix of direct and indirect loans: While it’s possible to apply directly through Wells Fargo for an auto loan, most of its auto lending is through dealerships.
  • Negative press: In addition to fines Wells Fargo has had to pay in regards to its auto loan customers, it has been fined for the way it treated mortgage customers as well. In all, the bank has agreed to pay billions in settlements and consent orders.

How to apply

As we’ve already mentioned, most customers apply through one of 11,000 dealerships in the Wells Fargo network. But applying outside of the dealership is possible — a Wells Fargo spokesperson said customers may call or visit a branch for more options. It’s possible to apply for a refinance loan online, in person or by calling 800-289-8004. We’ll talk more about refinance loans in more detail, below.

Here’s what the bank will want to know about you and your car:

  • Personal information: Address, contact information, date of birth and Social Security number.
  • Country of citizenship information
  • Marital status (Wisconsin only)
  • Housing information: Whether you rent or own and for how much as well as information about previous recent addresses
  • Income information: Your occupation, gross monthly income and previous employer
  • Information about your car: Year, VIN, mileage and remaining loan balance. You can find out your remaining loan balance by calling your current lender.

The fine print on an auto refinance loan

The only way to make sure you’re getting the best deal on a loan for a new car or to refinance the one you have is to shop around. Make sure a refinance really is in your best interest and that you understand Wells Fargo’s criteria before you sign:

  • Minimum loan amount of $7,500
  • Co-signers allowed
  • Not offered in Alaska, Arkansas, Hawaii, Louisiana, North Dakota or Washington, D.C.
  • May be difficult to get approved if your vehicle has more than 100,000 miles or is 8 years or older.

Once you have applied, Wells Fargo will contact you by phone, mail or email. You’ll have the option of signing and returning the loan package by mail or finishing the process online.

Who is a Wells Fargo auto loan best for?

Wells Fargo auto loans can be a good fit for those in the market for a new or used vehicle, or folks looking to refinance a current loan. It may be the best option for existing Wells Fargo customers looking to refinance — it’s possible to apply directly through the bank, online and, if you’re willing to make auto payments, you may score a lower interest rate.

A Wells Fargo auto loan might be good for anyone shopping for a new or used car as well, but the only way to make sure you’re getting the best rate, particularly if it’s one offered through the dealership, is by comparing it with your preapproval offer from another bank, credit union or online lender.

A Wells Fargo auto loan is not a good fit for anyone interested in a private party auto loan. For those, look to competitors such as Lightstream, Bank of America or a credit union.

Lindsay Martell contributed to this report.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

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Auto Loan, Reviews

Review: Bank of America Auto Loan

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Bank of America Auto Loan

The history of Bank of America dates back to more than two centuries, but that doesn’t mean its banking services are stuck in the past. In recent years, Bank of America has modernized its service offers by adding mobile auto lending services that allows buyers to choose a car and a car loan in one place. Yes, you can apply for its loans in person at a branch or over the phone, but it’s hard to beat the speed and convenience of applying from home or anywhere you use your smartphone.

According to Bank of America, you could receive a loan decision within 60 seconds of applying, which is about as fast an approval as you can get from any lender, whether in person or online. But don’t be so quick to gloss over the details. While you may get approval decision within a minute, you might not be getting your lowest rates. Bank of America offers competitive rates for new car financing and a discount for certain customers, but other lenders may be able to beat Bank of America when it comes to used car loans and refinancing.

About Bank of America

Bank of America’s online auto buying experience starts when you submit an electronic application through its website where you have the option to use your loan approval to shop for and buy your car through Bank of America’s network of participating dealerships. Once you get your loan approval you can visit the Bank of America website or use the banking app to search a national inventory of more than one million cars, then visit dealerships for test drives and to finish the paperwork.

You can also use a Bank of America loan to buy a vehicle outside of the network. The bank offers loans for:

For specific rates for used and new cars as well as loans you could use to refinance your existing car or to buy out your leased vehicle, see the chart below.

Bank of America: At a glance

  • Loan amounts starting at $7,500
  • Terms between 12 and 60 months

Bank of America offers a wide variety of loans, but its loans aren’t available for specialty vehicles such as motorcycles or RVs. Financing is available to residents of all 50 U.S. states who borrow a minimum of $7,500 ($8,000 in Minnesota), but it can’t be used to buy cars that are over 10 years old or with more than 125,000 miles.

Advertised rates for new car loans are comparatively low, but to find the lowest APR for your loan you’ll need to do some comparison shopping. Rates vary depending on what kind of purchase you’re making, where you shop and the condition of your credit, with the lowest rates available for buyers with excellent credit when they purchase a new car from a dealer. Bank of America advertises much higher rates for private party purchases.

Compare Auto Loans
 New from dealerUsed from dealerUsed from private party*RefinanceLease buyout*
Bank of America3.19%3.39%5.99%3.99%4.19%
Chase4.24%4.24%N/A4.89%N/A
LightStream3.99%3.99%4.99%3.99%4.99%
*Bank of America lease buyout and private party loan rates are current as of Sept. 18, 2019.

If you bank with Bank of America or have an investment account with its wealth management subsidiary, Merrill, you may be eligible for lower rates. Preferred Rewards members get a rate discount at 0.25% for Gold members, 0.35% for Platinum members and 0.50% for Platinum Honors members.

Your eligibility for Preferred Rewards is based on the average asset balances held by Bank of America and/or Merrill over the three months prior to your application, with a minimum average balance requirement of $20,000. You can enroll for free to see if you’re eligible.

A closer look at Bank of America auto loans

Advantages of Bank of America auto loans

  • Loan approval offers lock in your terms for 30 days. That gives you time to shop around and find the car you want.
  • No application or origination fees, unlike some other lenders.
  • No prepayment penalty, meaning you can pay off your loan early and potentially save on interest charges without being penalized.

Disadvantages of Bank of America auto loan

  • Other lenders’ rate discounts may be easier to qualify for than the Preferred Rewards’ discount. PenFed Credit Union, for example, offers a discount to customers who use its car buying service, which can mean new car loan rates as low as 1.49%*.
  • Loan preapproval isn’t available. That means you’ll likely have to take a hard inquiry into your credit, and possibly lose a few points from your credit scores, just to see the loan terms you’re being offered. However, it’s always a good idea to compare auto loan rates and applying to multiple lenders doesn’t hurt your credit any more than it does to apply to one, as long as you do so within a 14-day window.

How to apply for a Bank of America auto loan

Completing an application online is a straightforward process, and if you’re already a bank member you can choose to have some of the application prefilled. Whether you apply online, in person or over the phone by calling 844-892-6002, you’ll need to submit the following information to complete an application:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Social Security number
  • Employment information
  • Income
  • U.S. citizenship status
  • Email address

You may be asked to submit some of the following information to complete your application, if applicable:

  • Purchase agreement/bill of sale
  • Registration
  • Title
  • Vehicle make, model and year
  • Mileage
  • VIN number
  • Lease buyout instructions
  • Proof of income
  • Federal tax returns
  • W-2s

To apply in person, you can make an appointment through the website or walk into a bank branch and talk to a representative. Setting an appointment allows you to avoid waiting and helps ensure a specialist will be prepared with the information you need.

Once you’ve submitted your application, loan decisions are quick. Even if further review is needed after you submit your application, you’ll receive an email with your decision by the end of the following business day.

The fine print

  • Loans are only for cars purchased through franchise dealerships or private parties, which does not include independent dealerships except for CarMax, Hertz Car Sales, Enterprise Car Sales and Carvana.
  • If you apply online, you’ll get the details of your approval via email. Make sure to look them over, including interest rates and repayment terms for new versus used car purchases, before you begin car shopping.
  • Loans are available with payment terms lasting up to 60 months. While a longer term can lower your monthly payment, it can cost a lot more in interest charges. Make sure to do the math before agreeing to a long-term repayment.

Who is a Bank of America auto loan best for?

Savvy car shoppers know that using bank or credit union-backed financing for an auto purchase is generally a better option than going through a dealership. But it can be difficult to arrange bank financing and complete a car purchase without putting in the time to contact several different lenders and visit multiple lots.

If you want the security of financing with a large bank with branches around the country, or even from your pre-existing Bank of America account profile, Bank of America auto loans might be the solution for you. They offer some of the same perks as dealership financing, allowing you to apply for a loan and shop for a car, all within the same platform.

But some extra legwork usually pays off: Comparing rates with other banks, plus credit unions and online lenders is the only way to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible.

*Rate and offer current as of June 1, 2019 and are subject to change. Promotional rate is not available to refinance existing PenFed car loans. Terms apply.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Sarah Brady
Sarah Brady |

Sarah Brady is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Sarah here