CarsDirect is an online platform that connects you with car dealers and auto loan lenders. This means you can find the best price for a new or used car from multiple dealerships all in one place.
Additionally, if you need a loan, you can easily compare auto loan rates from multiple lenders and find the lowest rate with just a few clicks.
Overview of CarsDirect
CarsDirect is not just a middleman like other car buying websites, but rather a bustling marketplace where vendors compete for your business. So, rather than shopping around at multiple dealerships and lenders, you can find the best deals all in one place with CarsDirect.
CarsDirect offers a range of services to consumers looking to purchase or finance a new or used car. These services include:
- New car sales: CarsDirect allows consumers to browse and compare new car options from multiple dealerships, making it easier to find the best price and options.
- Used car sales: In addition to new car sales, CarsDirect also offers a selection of used cars for sale. Consumers can search for used cars based on make, model, price, and other criteria to find the perfect car for their needs.
- Financing options: If you need financing to purchase a new or used car, CarsDirect can help. The company offers a range of financing options, including loans, leases, and financing through car dealerships. You can easily compare rates and terms to find the best financing option for your needs.
CarsDirect Loan Application Requirements
You don’t need excellent credit to take advantage of CarsDirect’s car buying services because they are not an actual lender. They’ll take your submitted information and find lenders that are a good fit for you, regardless of where your credit score falls.
The necessary paperwork will all depend on the lender you choose and your credit history. Each lender has different requirements, and if your credit history is limited, they may ask you to submit alternative credit histories. These may include things like rent and utility payment histories.
If you know your credit rating, here’s how auto loan lenders sort scores with their corresponding rates. This is specific to the auto industry, so the ranges may look a little different from what you’re used to seeing with other types of auto loans.
5 Tier: F Credit
For credit borrowers with a score between 250 and 520, this subprime tier is for people with either poor credit or non-existent credit history. There are bad credit loan specialists out there who can qualify you for a car loan with a manageable rate for this category.
4 Tier: D Credit
Borrowers with a score between 520 and 580 will qualify for a bronze-level loan. This tier is for borrowers who have both good and bad credit history. This means they have a few things hurting their credit score, but an effort to manage and stay on top of their financial affairs can be seen.
3 Tier: C Credit
Credit scores between 581 and 659 fall in the silver rank. People in this rank usually have less than five years of credit history under their belts. They are slow to pay off credit card balances or may be close to maxing out an account.
2 Tier: B Credit
A 2 tier gold borrower has a credit rating between 660 and 699. Borrowers with this rating may be slow to pay off credit card balances or have some cards that are over 50% of the credit limit. If you’re close to tier A, consider paying off your balances because the interest difference between tier 2 and tier 1 can be as much as 4%.
1 Tier: A or A+ Credit
If your credit score is between 700 and 739, you have an A credit rating. If it is between 740 and 877, you’re an A+. If you have an A+ rating, you can often get the best rates with little to no money down.
Standard Required Paperwork
No matter who you choose to work with, standard paperwork will include things like:
- A copy of your photo ID
- W2 forms
- Two years of tax history
- Bank statements
- Most recent pay stubs for the past 30 days
- Proof of residence
- Proof of insurance
Types of Auto Loans Available
The type of car loan they’ll offer you will all depend on your credit score, debt-to-income ratio, and income. CarsDirect is not a lender, so there’s no static list of car loans its customers take out. This is a good thing because it means your auto financing options aren’t limited to a select few.
On their website is a ‘Car Loan Calculator’ that tells you how much car you can afford, which in turn will help CarsDirect ‘direct’ you to the right lender. The information you’ll need to enter includes:
- Desired Monthly Payment
- Expected Down Payment
- Approximate Credit Rating
- Loan/ Lease Term (how long you want to make payments)
- Car Sales Tax (this varies state by state)
When calculating desired monthly payments, financial experts suggest your monthly payments not exceed 10% of your monthly gross income (the amount you make before anything is taken out). This 10% should include everything — principal, interest, and insurance.
New and Used Cars
The car buying experience is easy with CarsDirect. Whether you are buying a new or used car, all you do is choose your car from a local dealer, then get matched up with the right lender for you.
The interest rate is higher for used cars because borrowers buying used cars tend to have lower credit scores. Lenders offset this risk by charging higher interest rates on lower loan amounts.
Private Party Purchase Auto Loans
If you choose to finance through a lender not affiliated with a dealership loan finance company, you can easily do so through Cars Direct. Loan approval typically happens within 24 to 48 hours.
Anyone can apply for a loan, but you’ll likely need a minimum credit score of 620. You’ll need to provide income, employment, and residency verification, but the loan process is relatively hassle-free once you do.
Once you have made either 6 to 12 months of on-time payments, you may be eligible to refinance your auto loan. Cars Direct has partnered with RateGenius, an online broker that reportedly can save its customers about $81 a month and reduce their interest rates by an average of 5.15%.
If you’re unhappy with both your monthly payment and interest amounts, and you have a history of on-time payments, refinancing through CarsDirect may be able to save you money.
Lease Buyout Loans
Depending on what lender you choose through CarsDirect, your lender may offer you a buyout loan. A buyout loan is when the lender pays the remaining balance for the borrower, and the borrower then makes monthly payments on the buyout amount. When the loan is fully paid off, the borrower then completely owns the car.
Fees and Rates
CarsDirect doesn’t charge any fees. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t be charged anything else other than monthly payments. It all depends on the lender you choose and what state you live in (because each state has different car sales tax rates).
Fees you’ll want to keep in mind when purchasing a car include:
- Vehicle Titling Fees
- Registration Fees
- License Fees
- Documentation Fees (charged by the dealership, and amounts will vary)
CarsDirect doesn’t have a Better Business Bureau page. It’s not that unusual for a well-established car buying site to not have a BBB page, but it may raise a flag for some. However, there are several CarsDirect reviews on other websites.
Overall, CarsDirect reviews tend to be positive, with users praising the convenience and user-friendliness of the website and the helpfulness of the sales staff. However, there are also some negative reviews that mention issues with pricing, financing, and customer service.
Some customers also mentioned that they received a high volume of calls and communications from CarsDirect’s partners.
CarsDirect Loan Application Process
Applying for a new car online is easy with CarsDirect. Just fill out the auto loan request form, submit the required paperwork and start car shopping. Once you’ve found your desired car, they have what they call the “60 Second Loan Request.” This online form enables borrowers to determine whether they’re likely to get approved for their desired loan amount in a minute or less.
Upon submission of your loan application, potential lenders may conduct a hard credit inquiry on your credit reports to assess your creditworthiness. This process can result in a temporary decrease in your credit scores.
Cars Direct continuously updates both its listings and car prices in real-time. So, when you choose what you want, you’ll get updates on both new car listings and price changes. You can also be hyper-specific about what you want, meaning you can even state what color you want your future car to be.
Another great tool is a search feature that brings up cars by monthly payments. So if you’re not too picky, just tell them how much you want to spend per month and browse from there. This way, you may find affordable cars that you thought were completely out of your price range.
CarsDirect.com is a great place to learn what your options are during the car buying process. They make it easy to buy a car. With CarsDirect, you don’t have to wonder whether you made the right purchase because you’ll know that you got the best deal for your money.
Check out our other auto loan reviews below to continue exploring your options.