RoadLoans auto loans review: Considers people of all credit types

Man and woman standing next to a car. He's smiling with his arms outstretched. Image: Man and woman standing next to a car. He's smiling with his arms outstretched.

In a Nutshell

RoadLoans is the direct lending division of Santander Consumer USA, offering new, used and refinance auto loans to people across the credit spectrum. But RoadLoans doesn’t offer loans in every state, and if you’re preapproved for a loan, you have to shop within its dealer network.

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Pros Cons
Range of loan options Limited to dealer network
Considers people of all credit types Not available in all states
Ability to shop like a cash buyer Restrictions on vehicle age and mileage

What you need to know about RoadLoans auto loans

RoadLoans is the online direct lending division of Santander Consumer USA. If you’re considering applying for a RoadLoans auto loan, here are some things to know.

Variety of loans options

RoadLoans offers the following finance options:

  • New car loans
  • Used car loans
  • Refinancing — cash-back (in select states) and traditional auto refinance

If you want to buy from a private seller or buy out your lease, you’ll need to consider other lenders.

Considers all credit types

RoadLoans considers people with less-than-perfect credit, including those who have filed for bankruptcy in the past. On its website, RoadLoans notes that making a down payment — with cash or through a trade-in — can help your odds of approval.

And RoadLoans allows co-applicants, which could help you get a higher loan amount and better interest rate.

RoadLoans only works with certain dealers

RoadLoans auto financing can only be used within its dealer network. And though RoadLoans works with more than 14,000 dealers nationwide, your shopping options may be limited based on where you live.

Ability to shop like a cash buyer

You can apply for preapproval right on the RoadLoans website. If you’re preapproved, you might get multiple loan offers featuring the loan terms and the annual percentage rate you’re conditionally approved for, along with recommended dealerships within the lender’s network. These offers are good for 30 days.

If you choose an offer and are formally approved, you can take your loan documents to the dealership and shop like a cash buyer.

A closer look at RoadLoans auto loans

Here are a few more things to consider about RoadLoans.

  • RoadLoans doesn’t offer loans to residents of Alaska, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Mississippi or Nevada.
  • You must be 18 year or older to apply.
  • Loan amounts range from $5,000 (in most states) to up to $75,000.
  • RoadLoans doesn’t charge a loan application fee.
  • Financed vehicles must have fewer than 120,000 miles and be no more than 9 years old. For refinance, the vehicle must be no more than 7 years old and have fewer than 105,000 miles. Any financed vehicles must have a clean and clear title.
  • You can’t refinance a car loan if it’s currently with Santander Consumer USA or Chrysler Capital.

Is a RoadLoans auto loan the right fit for you?

RoadLoans could be a good option for someone who’s shopping around for a car loan and wants the ability to apply for preapproval and — if peapproved — see the loan rate and terms they likely qualify for.

Since RoadLoans considers people with a range of credit histories, it might also be ideal if your credit needs significant work and you want to buy a car or refinance your existing loan to lower your monthly payment or interest rate. Keep in mind that if your refinance loan has a longer term, you might reduce your car payment, but you’ll likely pay more in interest over the course of the loan.

How to apply for a loan from RoadLoans

The first step in the application process is applying for preapproval on the RoadLoans website.

If you’re preapproved, your loan offers and paperwork will be sent to you via email. When you’re ready to shop, bring your loan paperwork to a dealer within the RoadLoans network to select a car and finalize your application.

Auto loan alternatives to consider

If you aren’t sure if a RoadLoans auto loan is right for you, here are some other lenders to consider.

  • Autopayauto loan: Autopay may be good for someone who wants a range of refinancing options.
  • New Roads auto loan: New Roads could be ideal if you want the ability to shop with a dealer of your choice.