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CarFinance.com Car Loans: 2018 Review

June 19, 2018
Auto Loans, Loans
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We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.

3.5 stars out of 5

NerdWallet rating: 3.5 / 5.0
Good for: Borrowers with poor credit who want fast preapproval

CarFinance.com is a direct lender offering new and used car purchase loans, as well as auto loan refinancing. The lender provides fast preapproval decisions and loans to those who might not get financing from other sources.

CarFinance

CarFinance.com is a good fit for those who:

  • Want a fast decision: You can get preapproved within 30 minutes during business hours.
  • Have credit scores as low as 525: But borrowers with bad credit may have trouble finding a low interest rate. Shop around for the best rate.
  • Carry debt: CarFinance.com will lend to borrowers with a debt load up to half their monthly income. But if you have this much debt, be cautious about taking on more.

CarFinance.com at a glance

Purchase loansRefinance loans
APR*7.99% - 14.99%7.99% - 21.99%
Loan amounts$7,500 - $45,000
Min requirementsCredit score: 525
Income: None
Hard credit check with application?Yes
Availability43 states and Washington, D.C.
*Annual percentage rate is used to evaluate the true cost of borrowing money and includes the interest rate.

CarFinance.com review details

CarFinance.com, managed by subprime lender Flagship Credit Acceptance, can help borrowers with high debt and fair-to-bad credit get a car loan. But such borrowers should proceed with caution when considering taking out a loan.

If your debt totals 40% or more of your income, adding more debt can be risky. Furthermore, borrowers with poor credit can face very high interest rates. First check your credit score and whether you have too much debt. It may be best to save up and buy a used car with cash or wait until your credit improves before applying for a loan.

That said, applying for a loan from CarFinance.com is fairly straightforward. You can fill out the application online and get preapproved quickly. You might be asked to provide additional documents, which can be sent electronically. Note that CarFinance.com requires a hard credit pull, which slightly lowers your credit score. This means it’s best for borrowers who are ready to commit to a loan.

Once you’re preapproved for a purchase loan, your “funding certificate” can be used at any franchised car dealership. Certificates may also be used at an independent dealership if the loan officer approves the transaction.

When evaluating refinance loan applications, CarFinance.com says the most important factors are payment history on current auto loans and other debt and the ratio of total debt to income, including the potential debt from a CarFinance.com loan.

Car loan rates

As with all auto financing, your interest rate on a loan from CarFinance.com will depend on your credit, with lower scores resulting in higher rates. Lenders set their own requirements, but credit scores are generally categorized as follows:

  • 300-629: Bad credit
  • 630-689: Fair credit, also called “average credit”
  • 690-719: Good credit
  • 720 and up: Excellent credit

CarFinance.com generally lends to consumers with credit scores between 525 and 650, signaling its focus on borrowers with bad credit. Its loans have minimum APRs of 7.99% and as high as 14.99% for a purchase loan and 21.99% for a refinance loan. The higher your rate, the more you’ll pay in interest over the life of the loan.

If you know your credit score, you can get an idea of the interest rate you might qualify for. And remember, if you have bad credit it’s especially important to compare offers so you can find the best possible rate.

Applying to CarFinance.com

  • Loan offers are good for up to 30 days
  • Can get preapproval in 30 minutes
  • Co-applicants allowed
  • No application fee; may charge late fees

Restrictions

  • Purchase loans: Generally can be used only at franchised dealerships
  • Refinance loans: Current loan must be open at least 3 months, but 6 months of on-time payments will increase your odds of approval, the lender says
  • Maximum vehicle age: 8 years
  • Maximum vehicle mileage: 100,000 miles for 60-month terms, 75,000 miles for 72-month terms
  • Loan terms: 36 months to 72 months
  • Excluded makes/models: Includes exotic cars, certain discontinued makes, motorcycles, and heavy-duty trucks
  • Not available in Hawaii, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nevada, North Dakota or Oregon; purchase loans not available in New Hampshire

How CarFinance.com compares

CarFinance.com lends to consumers who often have high debt and poor credit and might not get approved by other lenders. It also has no stated minimum income requirement; similar lenders often require applicants to make at least $1,100 per month.

The trade-off to these relaxed requirements is that CarFinance.com has a higher minimum interest rate than other lenders. Here’s how CarFinance.com’s purchase loan requirements stack up to those of other lenders.

LenderMin FICOAPRsHard pull?Get started
MyAutoloan5001.99% - 24.9% Yes
CarFinance.com5257.99% - 14.99% Yes
Consumers Credit Union6401.99% - 21.99%Yes
LightStream6603.09% - 7.69%***Yes
Capital One500As low as 3.99%*No
SpringboardAuto5005% and up**No
*For excellent credit **Max varies by state ***With autopay

More from CarFinance.com

CarFinance.com provides additional services and features to help borrowers manage their car loans.

The lender offers gap protection, also known as guaranteed asset protection insurance, which covers the difference between your loan balance and your car’s value — what your insurance company pays out on a claim. It also partners with insurance company Infinity for auto insurance.

» MORE: Infinity auto insurance review

CarFinance.com’s site features a blog, a customer resource center and a robust FAQ section. The lender’s monthly payment calculator can help you understand how a potential loan would fit into your budget.

Shopping for an auto loan

 

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