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SpringboardAuto Car Loans: 2018 Review

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

Good for: subprime applicants who want to know quickly whether they’ll qualify

SpringboardAuto is an online lender that provides pre-qualification for a variety of auto loans for subprime borrowers.

SpringboardAuto is a good fit for those who:

  • Have subprime credit; its borrowers’ average score is 600
  • Don’t want their credit score impacted to see a rate quote
  • Want a quick application process to get pre-qualified for an auto purchase or refinance loan

SpringboardAuto at a glance

APR*5% and up
Loan amounts$7,500 to $45,000
Minimum requirementsCredit score: 500
Income: $2,000/month
Hard credit check with application?No
Availability33 states
*APR is used to evaluate the true cost of borrowing money and includes the interest rate.

SpringboardAuto review details

The 3-year-old company, started by two veteran auto-finance professionals, touts the speed and simplicity of its application process and its ability to serve borrowers with “less than perfect credit.” SpringboardAuto provides new and used car loans for dealer and private party purchases, as well as refinancing.

SpringboardAuto does not require a hard credit inquiry, which slightly lowers your credit score, to see what rate you’ll qualify for. This makes it a good option for those who want to shop rates before committing to a loan, which is especially important for borrowers who don’t have top-tier credit.

Pre-qualification decisions are based on basic information, including reported income and housing expenses. If that’s insufficient to provide an offer, the lender will ask for more information, according to a company spokesperson. Once you accept an offer, a hard credit pull is performed.

Car loan rates

The lowest rate offered by SpringboardAuto is 5% and will only be available if you have qualifying credit. Among the company’s customers, the average credit score is 600 and the average interest rate is 12%. Lenders can set their own requirements, but good credit generally starts at 690.

Keep in mind that with average or below-average credit you won’t get the lowest interest rates, which means your monthly payment and total interest paid will be more. If you know your credit score, you can get an idea of the rate you might qualify for.

applYing to SpringboardAuto

  • Applicants must have a history of four or more credit accounts, such as loans or lines of credit, to qualify
  • Decision for pre-qualification can be nearly instantaneous
  • Co-signers allowed
  • No application fee
  • Origination fees of up to $595 (reflected in APR) on approved loans


  • Maximum vehicle age: 10 years
  • Maximum vehicle mileage: 138,000 miles
  • Loan terms: 24 to 72 months (NerdWallet doesn’t recommend loans over 60 months)
  • Excluded makes/models: Includes electric cars, heavy-duty trucks, leased vehicles and salvage or flood-damaged cars
  • Available in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin
  • Private-party purchase loans are not available in all states

How SpringboardAuto compares

Compared with other auto lenders we reviewed, SpringboardAuto’s minimum credit score is on the low end of the spectrum, but its income requirement, $2,000 per month, is on the high end. Furthermore, SpringboardAuto actually sees an average income of $6,000 a month among its customers.

Here’s how SpringboardAuto compares with other auto lenders. Some companies provide loans directly, while others may shop for loans for you from a network of lender partners.

LenderMin FICOAPRsLoan amountsHard pull?Get started
MyAutoloan5001.99% - 24.9% $7,500 - $100,000Yes
CarFinance.com5257.99% - 14.99% $7,500 - $45,000Yes
Consumers Credit Union6401.99% - 21.99%$250 - $500,000Yes
LightStream6603.09% - 7.69%***$5,000 - $100,000Yes
Capital One500As low as 3.89%*Min: $4,000No
SpringboardAuto5005% and up**$7,500 - $45,000No
*For excellent credit **Max varies by state ***With autopay

More from SpringboardAuto

The company’s website is mostly geared toward those applying for a loan, though it also provides answers to frequently asked questions. When you apply, the company offers a “loan configurator” so you can adjust the down payment and term to see how it affects your monthly payment.

Once you’re approved for a purchase loan from a private seller, SpringboardAuto will send a notary to the closing to complete the purchase process. When a purchase loan is finalized, the company delivers the funds directly to the dealer or private seller.

Shopping for an auto loan


More from NerdWallet

See more car loan providers
See more auto loan refinance options
Estimate your payments with a car payment calculator


To review SpringboardAuto, NerdWallet collected more than 27 data points from the lender, interviewed a company executive, completed the online loan application process with sample data and compared the lender with others that seek the same customer or offer a similar product.

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