RoadLoans Review


Overview: best overall, especially for low rates and good-standing borrowers.

RoadLoans is a direct-to-consumer auto loans lender, operating online since 2000 as a division of Santander Consumer USA, a major finance company with an active of 2,5M+ customers. It caters to people having all credit profiles but has a special regard for granting auto loans to borrowers with less than a good credit score or no credit history at all. You will also find lax requirements to qualify, in fact, the lender even forbears a recent bankruptcy.

From RoadLoans you can finance the purchase of both new and used cars, but also refinancing a current auto loan you had with another provider: in this case, the lender will offer a competitive lower rate and/or an improved term, depending on borrowers’ status, with the purpose of saving on your monthly payments.

RoadLoans partners with more than 14,000 dealerships across the U.S., and grant loans tailored to the cars that you will find from the dealers that are in its network: this makes it easy to find a loan and your desired vehicle in a single instance, saving you time and potential distress, as well as preparing you at best for the negotiation. In some cases, it is possible to obtain a loan and buy the car on the same day.

Currently, this online company serves 45 of the main States, with the following excluded: Alaska, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Mississippi, and Nevada.

What types of financing are available through RoadLoans?

Here is a summary of what you will be able to find:

  • New auto loans: these come with either fixed or variable terms, based on the cars’ market trends.
  • Used auto loans: here you may also get a fixed or variable term, and there will be restrictions about both mileage and vehicle’s age.
  • Conventional auto loan refinance. This means either obtaining a lower interest rate or a longer term, possibly both, in order to decrease your monthly payments: RoadLoans doesn’t disclose APRs, but if eligible, you will anyway see an improvement in your loan affordability. Your rate and term, as well as the chance to qualify, will depend on factors like credit score and history of payments, annual income, and needed loan amount.
  • Cash-back refinance. This is a pretty uncommon option among car lenders, that allows you to take an amount deriving from your car equity while borrowing. If your auto has increased its value over time, you can obtain that surplus as cashback, and using this fund for another debt-payoff purpose. This option is not available in all States (with exclusions specified on the website). Your credit will determine if you are eligible, and your car must be no older than 7 years.
  • Lease buyout. There are mentions of clients having used this service in the past. However, it is no more available.

Unfortunately, RoadLoans can’t currently finance the purchase of vehicles like motorcycles, trailers, or RV; also, car leasing is not provided.

What are RoadLoans rates, terms, and requirements?

The company doesn’t declare its rates nor its terms, but claims to offer competitive ones: you will be able to see the rates and terms you are eligible for only upon application pre-approval. However, if you apply with poor or no credit at all, you must expect higher than standard interest rates. RoadLoans seems to be more focused on bad credit borrowers, especially when it comes to the flexibility of their options.

You can borrow a minimum of $5,000, and up to a max amount depending on the car.

The interest that will be applied can be of the fixed or variable type, according to a set of factors, but mainly the concerned vehicle.

RoadLoans doesn’t charge fees for things like originating the loan or making early repayment on your part.

As for the credit score requirement, there is no specific number, while RoadLoans is clear that it can approach the entire spectrum of borrowers’ profiles. You have to know that a bad FICO score is anywhere below 669, while a poor rating is considered to be below 580.

Extras. While refinancing, you have the chance to skip your first car repayment, depending on when your last payment of the old loan was done. This gives you relief in case of temporary financial hardship. As a reminder, there is also the cash-back refinance option, which is quite a unique perk of RoadLoans.

At a glance:

Min. Loan Amount.$5,000
Max. Loan AmountUp to the car’s value, with restrictions
Interest Rate TypeFixed or variable
Minimum credit score$0
Requirements18+ years old, resident in an eligible state. Must have a minimum monthly income, recent bankruptcy allowed. No current auto loan with RoadLoans, Santander Consumer USA, or Chrysler Capital.

In order to accept borrowers with subprime conditions, RoadLoans must look at a minimum income to ensure that one can still repay the loan. Furthermore, this lender suggests (and possibly considers) that you use a co-signer, trade-in your vehicle or make a down payment to support a bad or non-existent credit status.

So, here is the big picture of why RoadLoans may or not fit your needs.


  • Lends to borrowers with bad or no credit scores
  • Straightforward application
  • Works directly with dealerships
  • Use of a co-borrower allowed
  • No origination fee
  • Excellent customer service satisfaction

This last point will be soon discussed and has to be certainly taken into account.


  • Absence of transparency about rates and terms
  • Restrictions about dealers and eligible cars
  • No more than one open account

Despite the chance of qualifying even with no credit, rates are potentially high. Moreover, they are not disclosedsed, as several parameters of loans aren’t: this is something that might make you hesitate about your lender choice.

We have to mention that although there is great overall convenience of using the service provided by RoadLoans, the available dealerships can’t cover every possible car brand and make; also, you will only find cars with ages and mileages that meet the requirements for which the lender grants its loans. The choice will be anyway vast.

How do you apply to RoadLoans?

The following three steps resume how you can complete your dreams’ auto purchase:

  1. Apply online
  2. Receive your offers and select one
  3. If approved, go to a partner dealer with the offer, negotiate and close the deal.

If you want to give RoadLoans a go, your driving will be safe but enjoying fast: in a matter of minutes, you should be able to complete the application form on the website.

You will be required to submit some personal information, along with your driver’s license, proof of auto insurance, and the most recent pay stubs to verify your declared income.

The company itself recommends to apply for a loan amount greater than the car’s actual value, to allow room for tax, title, licensing, and contingent optional products.

You will get a response fast, possibly in as little as 60 seconds: you will receive multiple deals to choose from, each with different terms/rate ratios, along with the other details. To see these offers, you undergo a hard pull on your credit report.

If you decide to accept an offer, its approval may take up to 24-48 hours, according to what the company claims.

Your data on the RoadLoans website is transmitted in a safe way, using strong updated technology: you can see the details if you are a computer geek.

What happens once approved?

You’ll receive an email alert of your approval, providing all the instructions for viewing and downloading your loan documents, that you will print. You can easily review the loan details, terms of approval, and the necessary car guidelines to be presented to dealerships. There will be also a list of recommended dealers, and references of documents to take. Alternatively, on the website there is a dealer locator tool based on your inputted ZIP code.

After you have been approved, you have 30 days to finalize the car purchase, that fits the lender’s requirements and standards. You will be addressed through an appointment to a dealership working with RoadLoans.

Coming to a dealership with an approved car loan offer is important for rates negotiation (you become a “cash buyer”): you are prepared to negotiate because you already know your rate, and how much you want to spend. Dealers tend to sell you optional products that you may need or not, so it is recommendable that you have a budget plan in advance.

Once you have signed the agreement, RoadLoans will take care of funding your loan amount, managing documentation, and your future repayments.

These can be done online (with the possible setting of automatic payments), via mail, phone, or a money transfer service like MoneyGram. You can add an extra payment whenever you want to accelerate payoff, without undergoing a penalty fee.

Is RoadLoans a good choice?

It is reported a great overall experience with RoadLoans among customers who left their reviews online: more than 1,400 feedbacks on Trustpilot show that people are satisfied especially with their level of communication with the customer service, rated as professional and friendly, plus its efficiency both through phone and email. Other commonly appreciated things are the swiftness of the application process, the ease of closing the purchase at a dealership with the offer and guidelines obtained.

There are a few scattered complaints about high rates, or from people not being able to find their wanted car from the suggested dealer: these contingencies are encountered all the time, especially if you are a bad credit borrower who will naturally meet more limitations.

It must be also mentioned that Santander Consumer USA, which is the parent company of RoadLoans, is rated with an A from Better Business Bureau, meaning a high level of customer care as a whole.

Final Verdict

If you were seeking to finance your car purchase with a poor credit score or without it, RoadLoans can make you qualify where many other lenders just can’t. You may also want to choose this lender if you like the comfort of shopping for the car while getting a loan that matches its requirements without the research effort, saving much time through a unified process. Outstanding customer service is a plus you must consider if you value it.

Consider other options if you seek absolute transparency for rates and terms, don’t like restrictions on your desired car, and your priority is to get the lowest rates on the market.

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