OpenRoad Lending Auto Loan Refinancing: 2023 Review

OpenRoad Lending specializes in auto loan refinancing and works with a network of lenders to match applicants to the lowest-rate loan offer.
By Shannon Bradley 

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Our Take

The bottom line:

Best for applicants who want to see a pre-qualified loan offer with a rate estimate for auto loan refinancing.

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Learn more

on OpenRoad's website

Pros & Cons


  • Borrowers work with Loan Care Agents who receive extensive training in auto refinancing.

  • Applicants receive a single pre-qualification offer (or decline), which limits borrower contact from network lenders.

  • Most lenders pre-qualify using a soft credit check.

  • Applicants have the option to apply by phone or online.

  • Website provides accessibility tools.

  • Allows co-signers and co-borrowers.


  • Most network lenders charge an origination fee up to $199.

  • Provides only one pre-qualified offer.

  • A few network lenders may use a hard credit inquiry for pre-qualification.

  • Social Security number required to submit initial application.

  • Not available in some states.

Compare to Other Lenders

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$8,000-No max.

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Full Review

Established in 2009, OpenRoad Lending works with a network of lenders to match applicants to the best loan and rate for which they may qualify. OpenRoad Lending offers auto loan refinancing and cash-out refinancing. It does not offer auto purchase loans.

When applicants submit an application, OpenRoad Lending matches them with the best pre-qualification offer from its network of lenders. In the majority of cases, pre-qualification only requires a soft credit check which will not affect the applicant’s credit scores. Applicants should be aware that a few of OpenRoad Lending’s partner lenders could do a hard credit pull at this stage, which can temporarily lower an applicant's credit scores.

If they pre-qualify, applicants receive a single offer with a rate estimate. This offer may be conditional and dependent on the verification of additional information, such as proof of residence. Applicants work with OpenRoad Lending throughout the loan process and are not contacted by the lender until after the loan is finalized.

OpenRoad Lending says it works with applicants of all credit types. Those with lower credit scores can expect rates at the high end of OpenRoad Lending’s interest rate range.

OpenRoad Lending may be a good fit for those who:

  • Have car refinancing questions. OpenRoad Lending offers only auto refinance loans. Loan Care Agents are auto refi experts, and the OpenRoad website provides many educational resources.

  • Need more flexible credit requirements. OpenRoad Lending says it helps customers with all credit types. Only a few of its lending partners have a minimum credit score requirement, and the lowest for those that do is 500 — falling into the “very poor” range on the FICO scale. It also allows co-signers, which can help applicants who would have trouble qualifying for a loan on their own.

  • Need an accessible website. OpenRoad Lending provides accessibility tools on its website.

🤓Nerdy Tip

OpenRoad Lending is an auto loan aggregator, meaning it works with a network of lenders to match borrowers to loans. Aspects of your loan — such as lender fees, service and how your personal information is used — will depend on the lender selected.

OpenRoad Lending at a glance

Note that OpenRoad Lending works with many different lenders, so the information provided is general and can reflect the high or low end available among its lending partners.

Application process
  • Origination fee: Yes. Most network lenders charge a fee of up to $199.

  • Personal information needed: Social Security number or ITIN, address, time at address, phone, email, birthdate, employment status, employer name, housing status, housing payment amount and basic vehicle information.

  • Pre-qualification available: Pre-qualification with a soft credit check is available in nearly all cases, but a few lenders may use a hard credit inquiry. The applicant receives a single pre-qualification offer with a rate estimate. OpenRoad lending did not disclose how long the offer is good.

  • Online, in-person or both: Process can be completed 100% online, including document upload.

  • Approval speed: Pre-qualification is not immediate but takes no more than 24 hours.

  • Minimum FICO credit score: Only a few lenders have a minimum credit score requirement. The lowest among lenders with a minimum is 500.

  • Minimum credit history: There is a minimum length of credit history required in nearly all cases; the shortest among lending partners with a minimum is four months.

  • Minimum annual gross income: There is a minimum income requirement in nearly all cases; the lowest among all lending partners with a minimum is $24,000.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Did not disclose.

  • Bankruptcy restrictions: A few lenders have bankruptcy-related restrictions. Did not disclose what restrictions are.

  • States covered: Not available in AK, HI, ND, NV, WI.

  • Maximum vehicle age: 12 years.

  • Maximum vehicle mileage: 150,000 miles.

  • Other vehicle restrictions: Certain vehicles, including vehicles that are no longer manufactured, such as but not limited to Hummer, Oldsmobile and Daewoo, are not eligible. No business or work vehicles.

  • Loan amount minimum: $7,500.

  • Loan amount maximum: $100,000.

  • Maximum loan-to-value ratio: 160%.

  • Refinancing restrictions: Borrowers can refinance as soon as the previous loan's paperwork is complete and the title can be transferred. Some OpenRoad Lending partners require at least a $7,500 balance remaining on the loan.

  • Loan terms: 36-84 months.

  • Rate discount: No rate discount offered.

  • Greater-than-minimum payments: Greater-than-minimum payments are accepted in most cases. The method for applying a payment overage varies by lender.

  • Bi-weekly payments: No, bi-weekly payments are never accepted.

  • Late payment fee: Yes. Depending on the state could be $0 to 5% of the unpaid installment amount or $30, whichever is greater.

  • Prepayment penalty: None.

  • Co-applicants allowed: Co-signers and co-borrowers are allowed in nearly all cases. Co-applicants can apply at the same time.

  • Payment options: Varies by lender.

  • Selected payment due date: The borrower can select the payment due date at any time during the loan term.

  • Hardship plans: OpenRoad Lending does not know if its lenders offer hardship plans.

  • Offers cash-out refinancing: Yes. Borrowers with vehicle equity may be able to receive up to $5,000 cash with their new refinance loan.

  • Existing loan payoff: Funds are sent directly to the lender, electronically if possible.

  • Assistance provided: Customer service is staffed with Loan Care Agents who receive extensive, ongoing training in auto financing.

  • Availability: Mon-Fri 8 a.m.-7 p.m. CT.

  • Contact options: Phone and email.

More from OpenRoad Lending

OpenRoad Lending offers other car-related services, such as GAP insurance, auto insurance, extended service contracts and paintless dent repair service contracts.

In addition, the OpenRoad Lending website has educational resources, including an Advice Center with articles about auto financing and refinancing.

The site also provides information about OpenRoad’s social responsibility initiative, which gives employees paid time off from their regularly scheduled workday to give back to their communities.

Many lenders quantify how much money they save customers, and OpenRoad Lending says it saves clients over $100 a month on average in car payments. NerdWallet is unable to verify these claims.

OpenRoad Lending auto loan rates

Credit requirements vary by auto lender, but OpenRoad Lending’s lowest rates are typically available only to borrowers with good or excellent credit (around a FICO score of 690 and above). With fair or bad credit, you won’t get the lowest interest rates, which means your monthly payment and total interest paid will be more. You can check your credit score before applying for an auto refinancing loan. You can check your credit score before applying for a car loan.

Loan example: According to NerdWallet's auto loan calculator that uses the VantageScore credit model, a borrower with a credit score of 300-499 (considered deep subprime), a $20,000 used car loan, repayment term of 72 months, interest rate of 18% APR and $0 down payment would have monthly payments of $456. One year later, if all payments were made on time, the borrower will have paid the loan down to a balance of $17,963. If the borrower is able to then refinance at 12% APR for the remaining 60 months, the payment would drop to $399 and result in interest savings of $3,394 over the life of the loan.

To review OpenRoad Lending, NerdWallet sent OpenRoad Lending a survey 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.

Learn more

on OpenRoad's website

Frequently asked questions