Auto Credit Express Financing: Review 2022

Auto Credit Express matches bad-credit borrowers with car dealers and lenders that may be able to provide an auto loan.
May 20, 2022

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Auto loan reviews

Auto Credit Express
  • New auto purchase loan

  • Used auto purchase loan

The bottom line:

Best for borrowers unable to get an auto loan through a traditional lender and needing help to find a bad-credit auto loan.

New auto purchase loan review

Auto Credit Express
Auto Credit Express - New car purchase loan

Not yet rated

Loan amount
$20,000-Max. not disclosed
Min. credit score
400

Pros

  • Specializes in helping car buyers who have low credit scores, bankruptcies or repossessions.

  • Connects car buyers to lenders with more flexible qualification requirements.

  • Partners with lenders that allow co-signers and co-borrowers.

Cons

  • Buyer can shop only within the Auto Credit Express dealer network.

  • Loans arranged through a subprime lender or buy here, pay here dealer typically have higher rates.

  • Some network lenders may do a hard credit inquiry.

  • Social Security number required to submit initial application.

Best for new-car buyers who can’t qualify for a lower-rate loan through a traditional lender and need help finding a dealer with subprime lending.

Full Review

Auto Credit Express does not make auto loans. Instead, it connects car buyers with dealers and lenders that may be able to approve a car loan based on preliminary information submitted by an applicant. When an applicant is connected to a dealer or lender, it is not a guarantee that the loan will be approved.

Auto Credit Express also connects car owners to auto refinancing lenders.

How does Auto Credit Express work?

For new and used car purchases, Auto Credit Express partners with a network of 1,500 car dealerships and lenders across the U.S. and Canada, and car financing is handled at the dealership. Auto Credit Express specializes in helping borrowers find bad-credit car dealerships that offer financing through subprime lenders. A few dealers in the network provide buy here, pay here, or BHPH, in-house financing, which is one of the most expensive ways to buy a car.

On the Auto Credit Express website, applicants submit a loan request form, which serves as an initial loan application. Borrowers should be aware that Auto Credit Express is not a lender and does not pre-qualify with a soft credit check.

When the online form is submitted, applicant information is shared with a participating dealer, and consent is given for lending partners to pull a credit report. While some network lenders may initially use a soft credit check, others may run a hard credit inquiry, which will temporarily lower your credit scores.

If Auto Credit Express finds a dealer that may be able to provide a loan, it sends the applicant an email confirmation with a “check application status” login and contact information for the dealership. Typically the dealer calls the applicant — sometimes immediately, but usually within 24-48 hours.

Car buyers then must visit that dealer and provide additional information to determine if the loan is approved, at what rate and if a down payment is required. Some dealers in the Auto Credit Express network require no or a low down payment, but it’s best to make a down payment if possible to reduce the amount you borrow and lower your car payment.

Qualifying for loans through Auto Credit Express

Dealers and lenders within the Auto Credit Express network have more flexible requirements than traditional lenders when approving auto loans. For example, Auto Credit Express lenders have either no credit score requirement or a low credit score requirement. There is no minimum credit history required, and the minimum monthly income needed, before taxes, is $1,500.

Although loan requirements are less stringent, applicants may have to provide specific documentation such as a utility bill as proof of residence, a phone bill as proof of having a landline or contract cell phone, or a list of personal references.

When to use Auto Credit Express

If you have bad credit and no idea where to apply for a car loan on your own, Auto Credit Express does the legwork for you. It can save you time by identifying dealers and lenders that may be more likely to work with you, although you can expect the loan to have a high rate.

Because car loan rates do tend to be highest with subprime lenders or BHPH dealers, you should first see if you can qualify for a lower rate through a traditional lender such as a credit union or bank. Try to make all applications within a 14-day window, so hard credit inquiries are counted as one and have less effect on your credit scores.

And, if you must settle for a high interest rate, look into refinancing your car to a lower rate after you have six to 12 months of on-time payments.

Auto Credit Express auto loan refinancing

Auto Credit Express also connects borrowers to auto loan refinancing lenders, whether the original loan was through Auto Credit Express or elsewhere. Auto refinancing lenders through Auto Credit Express typically require that borrowers have good credit (a FICO score of 690 and up) or show recovering credit. The minimum credit score for most Auto Credit Express refinancing lenders is 550.

Some Auto Credit Express lenders also offer cash-out refinance auto loans.

Auto Credit Express may be a good fit for those who:

  • Can’t qualify for a car loan through a traditional lender: While loans arranged through Auto Credit Express will most likely come with a higher rate, it provides an option for car buyers who can’t get a car loan elsewhere due to bad credit or past financial problems, like bankruptcy.

  • May need a co-signer or co-borrower to qualify: Not all lenders allow co-applicants. Auto Credit Express can direct loan applicants to lenders that do.

  • Want to avoid multiple rejections and hard credit inquiries: Car buyers who don’t know which dealers in their area offer subprime lending can be turned away at numerous dealerships. Auto Credit Express helps identify dealerships more likely to work with bad-credit borrowers.

Note that Auto Credit Express partners with a network of auto dealers and lenders, so the information provided below is general and may vary by partner.

Auto Credit Express at a glance

Application process
  • Origination fee: None.

  • Personal information needed for initial loan application: Social Security number or individual taxpayer identification number, address, time at address, phone, email, birthdate, employment status, employer name, housing status, housing payment amount. Proof of income and insurance information required later in process.

  • Pre-qualification with soft credit check available: No.

  • Online, in-person or both: Application is completed online, but the applicant must visit the dealership to complete the process.

  • Approval speed: Applicants do not receive approval from Auto Credit Express. They receive confirmation of placement with a subprime loan specialist and will find out if their loan is approved after completing the application at a designated dealership.

  • Funding speed: Two days or more.

Qualifications
  • Minimum FICO credit score: Not all lending partners have a minimum credit score. It is 400 for those that do.

  • Minimum credit history: No minimum.

  • Minimum monthly income: $1,500.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 50%.

  • Bankruptcy-related restrictions:  None.

  • States covered: Available in 50 states and Washington, D.C. Not available in Puerto Rico.

Restrictions
  • Maximum vehicle age: No maximum for used car financing; 10 years for auto refinancing.

  • Maximum vehicle mileage: No maximum for used car financing; 110,000 miles for auto refinancing.

  • Other vehicle restrictions: Customers must purchase at the dealership that is arranging the financing.

  • Loan amount minimum: New car financing: $20,000; used car financing: $5,000; refinancing: $7,500.

  • Loan amount maximum: New car financing depends on borrower credit profile and lender; used car financing: $45,000; refinancing: $50,000.

  • Refinancing time restrictions: Will refinance 90 days after closing on the previous loan.

Other loan details
  • Loan terms: 24-84 months.

  • Rate discount: None.

  • Prepayment penalty: None.

  • Co-borrowers allowed: Yes.

  • Co-signers allowed: Yes.

  • Payment options: Mailed-in check, mobile app, online, ACH.

  • Selected payment due date: Some lending partners allow borrowers to choose their payment due date, before signing the loan agreement.

  • Cash-out refinancing: Yes, is available with some lenders.

  • Hardship plans: Varies by lender.

Customer service
  • Servicing of loan: Auto Credit Express does not make loans or retain servicing of loans. It is available to provide assistance during the loan process. After that, borrowers work with the lender.

  • Availability: Monday-Saturday, 8:30 a.m.-10 p.m. ET.

  • Contact options: Phone, email, website form.

How does this loan compare?

Consumers Credit Union
Carvana
MyAutoloan
Est. APR

3.99-18.54%

Est. APR

3.90-27.90%

Est. APR

2.24-24.99%

Loan amount

$7,500-No max.

Loan amount

$1,000-$100,000

Loan amount

$8,000-$100,000

Min. credit score

620

Min. credit score

450

Min. credit score

575

Used auto purchase loan review

Auto Credit Express
Auto Credit Express - Used car purchase loan

Not yet rated

Loan amount
$5,000-$45,000
Min. credit score
400

Pros

  • Specializes in helping car buyers who have low credit scores, bankruptcies or repossessions.

  • Connects car buyers to lenders with more flexible qualification requirements.

  • Partners with lenders that allow co-signers and co-borrowers.

Cons

  • Buyer limited to purchasing a car within the Auto Credit Express dealer network.

  • Loans arranged through a subprime lender or buy here, pay here dealer typically have higher rates.

  • Some network lenders may do a hard credit inquiry.

  • Social Security number required to submit initial application.

Best for used-car buyers who can’t qualify for a lower-rate loan through a traditional lender and need help finding a bad-credit auto loan.

More from Auto Credit Express

The Auto Credit Express website offers educational resources — such as a blog and answers to frequently asked questions — with straightforward and helpful information for borrowers with bad credit. However, a resource center page promotes third-party services that may come with fees and subscriptions, so read the fine print.

The site also has a tool to estimate the amount a person may be able to borrow, but it is not a commitment of loan approval or a specific amount. Car buyers can get an idea of the amount they can afford to spend on a car by using NerdWallet’s car affordability calculator.

To review Auto Credit Express, NerdWallet sent a survey to Auto Credit Express requesting more than 60 data points and followed up with company representatives. This information was compared with other lenders that seek the same customer or offer a similar product.

Frequently asked questions