Advantage Auto Loans review: Bad credit auto loans — but no option to apply for prequalification

Woman with tattoo sitting behind the wheel of her car and looking at the road Image: Woman with tattoo sitting behind the wheel of her car and looking at the road

In a Nutshell

Advantage Auto Loans considers all credit profiles for auto loans — even those with a past bankruptcy or repossession. But the company does prefer that you have a certain minimum income, and there’s no option to apply for prequalification.

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Pros Cons
Rates starting at 1.99% for qualified borrowers More than $1,499 pre-tax monthly income preferred
All credit profiles considered No chance to apply for prequalification
Zero-down loan options available for those who qualify Online applications only

What you need to know about Advantage Auto Loans

Advantage Auto Loans set out to simplify the car loan application process, especially for people who don’t have the best credit history. The company works with a network of lending partners across the country to connect you with financing that could fit your needs.

If you’re looking to lease or buy a car and are considering financing through Advantage Auto Loans, here are some things you should know.

1. Zero-down loans available

Some of Advantage Auto’s partner lenders offer auto loans with no money down. This can seem like a big plus if you don’t have the cash on hand to make a down payment — but not all applicants will qualify, and if you do, you’ll want to read the fine print carefully as you may pay more over the life of the loan than what the car is worth. 

2. Pre-tax monthly income over $1,499 preferred

While Advantage Auto Loans considers most credit profiles, the lending platform states it prefers applicants with a pre-tax monthly income of over $1,499. It may be more difficult to get approved with the company’s lenders or dealers if you make less.

3. No prequalification process

Some lenders will allow you to apply for loan prequalification before you formally apply so you can get an idea of whether you could ultimately be approved. Although it’s not a guarantee of approval, prequalification can also give you an idea of the terms and interest rate you could get if you’re approved and compare them to other prequalification offers. But Advantage Auto Loans doesn’t offer a prequalification option. If you want any insight into the terms, you’ll have to go through with a full loan application, resulting in a hard credit inquiry.

A closer look at Advantage Auto Loans

Here are some other details about Advantage Auto Loans to consider.

  • Advantage Auto Loans will consider most credit profiles, including applicants who’ve gone through bankruptcy or a vehicle repossession.
  • If you’re an independent contractor or self-employed, you can still apply for an auto loan as long as you can prove your income.
  • If you’ve never owned or leased a car before and have not previously gotten auto financing, Advantage Auto will still consider your loan application.
  • The platform’s lenders report to all three major consumer credit bureaus, which could help you build your credit — as long as you make your loan payments on time and handle the loan responsibly.
  • If you still owe money on your current car but would like to trade it in, Advantage Auto may be able to connect you with a lender that accept trade-ins. And it may be able to help you even if you haven’t paid off your current loan — but beware this could leave you upside down on your new car loan.
  • Advantage Auto offers an online payment calculator that could help give you an idea of how much car you can afford before you begin the loan application process.

Is an Advantage Auto loan right for you?

An Advantage Auto loan may be worth considering if you have a limited or challenging credit history, or you’ve been through bankruptcy or repossession. Since the company partners with many lenders and dealers, it may be able to match you with a partner who will offer you auto financing, though maybe not with the best terms.

If your credit is pretty strong, Advantage Auto could be an option for you thanks to the competitive interest rates from some of the lenders it works with.

Either way, without a prequalification option you’ll be at some disadvantage because you can’t get an idea of whether you could be approved without formally applying and submitting to a hard credit check. And that could negatively affect your credit scores while you’re still loan shopping.

How to apply for a loan from Advantage Auto Loans

To apply for an auto loan with Advantage Auto Loans, you must use their online application. You will not be able to prequalify to see potential rates before applying.

Before you apply for an auto loan with Advantage, it’s a good idea to check your credit and shop around for loan offers. Understanding your credit can help set expectations — in general, lower credit scores will result in higher interest rates. And shopping around and comparing loan offers can help you find the best rates and terms for your needs. Check out our article on how to get a car loan for more advice.

Not sure if Advantage Auto Loans is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

  • Capital One auto loan: A Capital One auto loan may be a good option if you’d like to apply for prequalification first to see your estimated terms.
  • Bank of the West auto loan: If you’re already a Bank of the West customer or want to buy an electric car, a Bank of the West auto loan may make sense.

About the author: Anna Baluch is a freelance personal finance writer from Cleveland, Ohio. You can find her work on sites like The Balance, Freedom Debt Relief, LendingTree and RateGenius. Anna has an MBA… Read more.