CarsDirect review 2022

CarsDirect Review

Overview: best for bad or no credit borrowers, and shopping cars is a web-based car purchasing services company, that executes its core business competency by helping people to buy both new and used cars. The company also offers auto loans through a vast network of lenders and car dealers, as well as refinancing existing car loans.

CarsDirect began giving out loans to consumers in 1998 when it first ventured into the automotive financing market: this company has practically invented the concept of shopping for cars online. Since then, it has helped more than 5 million people getting their most suitable cars, partnering with some of the top lenders and dealers in the market.

CarsDirect essentially caters to customers who have bad credit, little or no credit history at all. The company is also in business because it knows that hardworking people always have excellent credit and deserve the best rates.

People on the lookout to get an auto loan for both the used and new cars will find here the right vehicle and great loan offers, in the same place. Cars Direct has enough experience to excel in doing both functions for its customers.

How does CarsDirect work?

CarsDirect doesn’t underwrite auto loans, but through its platform you can look for different lenders simultaneously, and find loan offers from its partners. You are also able to compare other loan options, such as auto loan refinancing. Most CarsDirect customers usually buy their vehicles within 1 to 2 days of completing their loan application process with the lender.

Loan Products from CarsDirect

  • Conventional auto loans, also for bad credit. CarsDirect helps you connect both with lending companies and dealers who deliver their own offers. You can qualify for an auto loan even if having a bad credit score, and this type of loan does not require a credit check to be run on applicants.
  • Car leasing. Instead of purchasing a new car, customers have the option of leasing a vehicle for a long time. While this type of loan service requires an upfront payment, customers will have to pay it back monthly. The monthly fee is considerably lower.
  • Refinancing. CarsDirect allows its customers to switch out their old car loans for new ones: these new car loans come with better rates, terms, and possible fees for the service. This option allows customers to save lots of money despite if they may have low credit scores.

CarsDirect auto loans rates and conditions

Loan Amounts
Up to 100% of the vehicle price
Not disclosed
Interest type
Fixed or variable
Vary by lenders
Not disclosed
Min. credit score
18+ years old, US citizen or permanent resident, employed or with a guaranteed source of income, holding a driver’s license and a car insurance policy
Less than 24 hours, at best

The company is not a direct lender: this means that users won’t get their loan terms and interest rates until they receive the lender’s or dealer’s offer. The company does not declare expected ranges of APR, while you can consider terms of at least 24 months, and up to 96. There is no fee for using the CarsDirect service, however, the dealer or lender in charge of your auto loan may apply specific fees.

If you have a bad credit score, that is to say anywhere below 660, then you are eligible for a loan with CarsDirect. Indeed, there is no minimum score necessary in order to qualify, but keep in mind that in such situations you will get higher interest rates than normal. Depending on the applicants’ credit, they may have to pay a down payment of about 10%.

Typically, people who have undergone bankruptcy or have low credit reports may find it challenging to be approved for auto loans. One unique feature of Cars Direct is that it links the applicant up with lenders that consider even this financial situation.

Most auto loans have the same basic requirements. Lenders who help people with bad credit situations get an auto loan are known as “subprime lenders”. They usually check other determining factors to help people with insufficient credits getting a loan:

  • Proof of steady income – Auto loan lenders usually check recently computer-generated payment stub, which displays updated revenue. People with bad credits are expected to have the least monthly income between $1,500 and $2,000 per month before tax from one job.
  • Proof of Address of residence: They will need to get a utility bill that bears both your name and address.
  • Evidence of identity: You will need a verified driver’s license or a photo ID issued by the state.
  • Evidence of an active phone number
  • Personal references listed:  a list with about 5 to 8 personal references. This list will bear their full names, active addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers. All lenders may not demand this; however, you should have them ready.
  • Down payment: Applicants are required to pay down a minimum of 10% of the car’s selling price. Alternatively, if 10% of the car’s selling price is more than $1,000, applicants are generally obliged to pay the $1,000. This is just a guideline: all applicants’ down payments are based on their credit, lenders, the vehicle, and other determining factors.

The benefits and drawbacks of auto loans from CarsDirect


The main edge of CarsDirect is that it doesn’t just connect you with car loans, but you can also buy new or used cars on the same platform. That can make the purchasing experience smoother because it takes what should be a multiple-step process, and condenses it into one.

You can apply with another person to help you improve your chances to qualify, or if you want to obtain a lower rate.

Cars Direct is more forgiving than most traditional lenders, credit unions, or banks who are generally wary of giving out loans to people with bad credit. Cars Direct has a reliable network of financing experts like car dealerships with in-house negotiation instruments without checking the applicant or buyer’s credit.


Once you submit your loan application, lenders may perform a hard inquiry on your credit report in order to make you offers, which will slightly decrease your credit score. Many other online providers of car loans perform only a soft check. Besides, the website doesn’t go into details of rates and lenders who are making their deals: in our opinion, this could be improved.

How to apply with CarsDirect?

Applicants are expected to begin the loan process in the web platform: you have just to submit a simple form, that can be completed in as little as 60 seconds, as claimed by the company. You are required to provide a set of information such as contact references, Social Security Number, residence, monthly housing payment, and information about your employment.

As a reminder, at CarsDirect, you get loans that work with all types of credit. It does not matter if you have a score that is below 580 or no credit at all since there be will subprime lenders who can serve you.

A dealer partner will get in touch within 24 hours from completion of the application to discuss your financing options. Once the loan is finalized, you might be able to obtain funds in as little as 24 business hours, depending on your lender or dealer, and this is the timing on average. The entire process is streamlined, which was one of the mainstays of the company.

How CarsDirect is rated?

There are mixed customer opinions about CarsDirect. From the online reviews we read from several dedicated websites, it seems that the company performs well in terms of its application process. It is mostly appreciated for its seamless and excellent service of connecting with dealers, especially for returning customers; the customer service is reported to be kind and professional.

By the way, the company offers the swiftest customer support services over email and phone to get customers’ new cars delivered to their homes, but also through a live chat.

Indeed, there are numerous complaints about varied issues, such as being “spammed” with emails, alleged selling of personal information, unauthorized credit check, and some other, but negative reviews are largely referring to buying a car service rather than getting an auto loan.


CarsDirect is one of the best available online platforms if you are in need to purchase used or new cars while seeking a car loan to finance this purchase. If you have a bad credit score, but with a steady and good income, CarsDirect is one of the few choices that can grant you an auto loan under such conditions, with also joint applications possible.

On the other side, if you have good to excellent credit, you are likely to find better rates and terms going through a bank, credit union, or a more traditional online lending company.