Car.loan.com review: Considers people with bad credit, but loan rates may be high

Man looking at laptop, researching an auto loan from carloancom Image: Man looking at laptop, researching an auto loan from carloancom

In a Nutshell

Car.loan.com is an online lending platform that has limited auto loan options for people with bad or even no credit. But keep in mind that APRs can be high.

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Pros Cons

Works with people across the credit spectrum

Limited types of auto loans

Considers people with bankruptcies and repossessions

APR may be high

No fees for using Car.loan.com

Must work with a participating dealer


What you need to know about Car.loan.com auto loans

Car.loan.com is an online lending platform that connects car buyers with auto lenders and dealers who may offer auto financing to people with rough credit. Here are some important things to know about Car.loan.com to determine if it’s right for you.

Car.loan.com is not a lender

Car.loan.com is an online service that may help you find a loan that fits your needs. As part of its process, Car.loan.com may share your loan requests and personal information with up to five lenders and dealers.

You’ll typically get a phone call within 24 hours — sometimes within minutes — after you submit an application.

The company essentially does all the legwork for you in finding a loan, which can be difficult to do on your own, especially if you have less-than-perfect credit. Car.loan.com will help set up a meeting with a finance manager at one of the dealerships in your area so that you can visit the dealer, pick out a car and complete the paperwork.

Limited loan and dealer options

Lenders in the Car.loan.com network provide auto loans to purchase a new or used car. But Car.loan.com isn’t a direct lender, so there’s no option to get financing to buy a car from a private party. The platform also doesn’t offer refinance loans or lease buyout loans.

It’s also worth noting that Car.loan.com connects people only with dealers in its network. This means you may be restricted to select dealers in your area. Plus, there’s no list of dealers on the platform’s website, so you’ll need to fill out an application to discover potential options.

Considers people across the credit spectrum

If you have bad credit or even no credit, you may still be able to get financing through one of the platform’s participating dealers. Even a bankruptcy or repossession on your credit report won’t be an automatic disqualifier.

But you should be aware that dealer options presented by Car.loan.com can include buy-here, pay-here financing. Buy-here, pay-here dealerships typically charge higher interest rates than what you’d find at other lenders, such as banks and credit unions — in states where they’re permitted, the average interest rate is 20%. Additionally, they may not report your payments to the credit bureaus, which means they won’t help you build credit.

Also keep in mind that while Car.loan.com considers people with poor credit and no credit, that doesn’t mean loan approval is guaranteed.

A closer look at Car.loan.com auto loans

If you’re considering Car.loan.com, here are some other factors to consider.

  • Loan rates may be high — Annual percentage rates, or APRs, for loans through Car.loan.com partner dealers can range from 0% to 25% based on where you live, your vehicle and credit history. The upper end of this range — 25% — is high. The average car loan rate for those with “deep subprime” credit scores of 300 to 500 was 13.97% for new cars and 20.67% for used cars, according to the Q2 2020 Experian State of the Automotive Finance Market Report.
  • No loan information on website — Loan terms, including loan amounts, repayment terms and more, depend on the lender or dealer you get matched with, so it’s hard to compare auto loan rates and terms with other lenders.
  • Limited vehicle options — Your vehicle options will depend on the dealers near you that are in Car.loan.com’s network and who will work with you.
  • Free service — Car.loan.com doesn’t charge fees for its service, but the dealers and lenders in its network may charge fees.
  • Only one customer service option — Customer service is only available through an online form. The company doesn’t list a phone number you can call.
  • Ability to estimate loan amount — The website provides a calculator to help you get a sense of the loan amount you may qualify for, based on the information you provide.

Is a Car.loan.com auto loan the right fit for you?

Because Car.loan.com is a loan-finding service, it’s best suited for people who are having a tough time finding a loan on their own. This process can be especially challenging if your credit has some dings or you haven’t yet had the chance to build your credit file.

Even if you have excellent credit and can easily find financial institutions to work with, Car.loan.com provides a path to comparison shop to help you find the best available interest rates and loan terms from lenders within their network.

But it may not be a good idea to use Car.loan.com if you want a quick online prequalification process. The website isn’t completely clear about how the process works after you submit your application. According to the website, both potential lenders and Car.loan.com may reach out to you regarding loan offers, if you qualify.

How to apply for a loan from Car.loan.com

Car.loan.com isn’t a lender, but you can apply through its service to get connected with one.

You can submit an application through the service’s website. You’ll provide some information about yourself, your residence, your employment and monthly income. You’ll also share your Social Security number, which its partners may use to obtain your credit report through a hard credit inquiry.

This means that you may end up with multiple inquiries on your credit report from separate lenders. But as long as they happen within a set period — either 14 or 45 days, depending on if your lender uses older or newer FICO® scoring models — they’ll only count as one inquiry when calculating your credit scores.

Before you apply for an auto loan with Car.loan.com, check your credit to get an idea of where you stand. You might also consider other lenders that may provide a simpler process to get prequalified and approved. Read our article on how to get a car loan with bad credit for more tips.

Not sure if Car.loan.com is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

Car.loan.com can provide some useful assistance in finding an auto loan for bad or no credit. But it’s not the only way to go. Here are a couple of other options to consider.

  • Capital One auto loan: This lender may be ideal if you want the ability to apply for prequalification and — if approved — see an estimated loan offer right away without a hard credit inquiry. Just remember that prequalification isn’t a guarantee of loan approval.
  • MyAutoLoan auto loan: This marketplace could be good for people who want a similar experience to Car.loan.com but need more loan options.

About the author: Ben Luthi is a personal finance freelance writer and credit cards expert. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business management and finance from Brigham Young University. In addition to Cr… Read more.