Auto Loans Review, the direct lending arm of Santander Bank, quotes several auto loans rates once you apply for preapproval and has some of the best auto loans for bad credit nationwide.

APR Range
Max. Loan
12–84 months
4.3 / 5.0
SimpleScore RoadLoans 4.3
New Car Rates 5
Loan Size 5
Used Car Rates N/A
Customer Satisfaction 2
Fees 5

Santander Bank reviews tend to be mixed, with some reporting satisfaction and others complaining about high Santander Bank auto loans rates. The parent company, Santander Consumer USA Holdings Inc., is headquartered in Dallas, Texas.

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In this article at a glance

    LenderRoad Loans
    Loan Amount$5,000–$75,000
    TermsUp to 72 months
    Best forBorrowers with bad credit
    Not forBorrowers who want the best APR and direct lending solutions

    What we like about it is a direct lender with a network of 14,000 dealerships nationwide, so there’s a good chance you will have solid options when you finance a new or used vehicle. RoadLoans also offers auto loan refinancing, including cashback refinancing in the states where it is available. The online preapproval process is quick and simple, and you’ll get several auto loan rate quotes that are good for 30 days, along with recommended local dealerships. This company works with individuals who have bad credit, or a score of 600 or under, including customers who have filed for bankruptcy.

    Things to consider

    Until you apply on the website for preapproval, you won’t know what APRs and terms are available to you, which can make it hard to comparison shop. Because RoadLoans works with people who have bad credit, some of its auto loan rates are punitively high. A recent spike in negative Santander Bank ratings could be related to stress over job losses in early 2020; several people note that Santander has little sympathy for extenuating circumstances like the coronavirus pandemic. There are some restrictions on used RoadLoans car loans involving vehicle age and mileage, which can put a damper on your vehicle selection.

    [Read: Should You Ever Refinance a Car Loan?]

    What you need to know

    To get a RoadLoans auto loan, you need to be at least 18 years of age. You can get a new auto loan, a used auto loan or an auto loan refinance (both cash out and to lower your rate) with no application fee. You don’t have to have good credit, but if you have bad credit, you won’t receive the best auto loans rates. In fact, according to complaints on the Consumer Affairs website, your rate could exceed 26% APR. RoadLoans explains that putting money down and allowing someone to co-sign your loan can improve your chance of being accepted.

    Some restrictions do apply:

    • RoadLoans doesn’t currently offer loans to residents of Alaska, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Mississippi and Nevada.
    • You can only get a loan to purchase a vehicle at one of the dealerships in its network.
    • Residents of the following states aren’t eligible for cash back auto loan refinancing: Arkansas, Alaska, Connecticut, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the District of Columbia.
    • Financed vehicles must be less than nine years old and have fewer than 120,000 miles on them. For auto refinances, the vehicle has to be less than seven years old and have under 105,000 miles.
    • If your car loan is currently with Santander Consumer USA or Chrysler Capital, you can’t refinance it.

    To get a loan with RoadLoans, you follow this simple process:

    1. Fill out the preapproval application on its website.
    2. Select an offer from ones you receive (if your loan is preapproved) and download the voucher.
    3. Take the voucher to one of the RoadLoans network dealerships and shop like a cash buyer.

    [Read more: How to Pay off Your Car Loan Early]

    Collateral and criteria

    Applicants with bad credit are eligible to apply for a loan through RoadLoans, though it may help if they have a down payment or get someone to co-sign the loan with them. Auto loans from are secured loans; the vehicle is collateral on the loan, and if you cease making monthly payments, your vehicle may be repossessed.

    Santander Bank auto loans

    RoadLoans is the direct lending arm of Santander Bank. That means Santander Bank uses to originate auto loans, which will then be serviced by the bank. It may help to think of as an auto loan broker who will assess your creditworthiness, provide you with rate quotes and provide you with local dealerships in its network. After the loan is processed, though, you will be making monthly payments to Santander Bank.

    Santander Bank’s RoadLoans vs. Carvana

    Unlike RoadLoans, which offers new and used auto loans, Carvana deals only with used cars, offering people a convenient one-stop shopping experience. Its website displays a wide array of used cars available for purchase, and you can view financing options for the vehicle that interests you after a soft credit pull. Rates vary, depending on creditworthiness. In some urban areas, the company will deliver the vehicle to your door free of charge.

    If you hate haggling at the dealership, Carvana is a better option for those in the market for a used vehicle. Read our full Carvana auto loans review.

    Check Your Auto Loan Rates

    View our top-rated lenders and find the best rates today. It’s quick and easy.

    Editor’s Note: Due to the nature of RoadLoans’ auto loan offerings, we are unable to gather the necessary data to calculate a comprehensive SimpleScore, so it has been omitted from our scoring system.

    We welcome your feedback on this article and would love to hear about your experience with the auto loans we recommend. Contact us at with comments or questions.



    We’ve created the SimpleScore™ to help you objectively compare products and services here at The Simple Dollar.

    Our editorial team:

    • Identifies five factors to compare across each brand
    • Determines the rating criteria for each factor
    • Calculate an average of those five factor scores to get one SimpleScore™

    We break down each of these five factors and their rating criteria for our review of the best auto loan companies of 2020.

    Why do some brands have different SimpleScores™ on different pages?

    Some brands like Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Chase have different SimpleScores™ because they offer more than one financial solution — like auto loans, home loans, personal loans and banking.

    For instance, in our Bank of America Mortgage Review, we give the company a 3.8 out 5 based on our five rating factors for mortgages. In our Bank of America Auto Loans Review, we give the company a 4.4 out of 5 based on our rating factors for auto loans. By tailoring our SimpleScore™ to each financial solution, we’re able to give you a more accurate view of their services and how they compare to competitors’ services.

    Minimum new car rate

    Companies that look out for new car buyers with lower rates receive higher scores from us.

    Minimum used car rate

    We also give higher ratings to companies that look out for used car buyers by offering lower rates.

    Maximum loan size

    Having enough money to cover your auto loan is important –– that’s why companies with higher maximum loan amount receive better scores from us.

    Customer satisfaction

    We use the J.D. Power 2019 Consumer Lending Satisfaction Study℠ to find out how customers rate their experience with each company. (If a company is not included in J.D. Power’s study, we skip this rating factor and average the remaining factor scores.)


    Fees can add up very fast –– that’s why we give a higher score to companies who have fewer fees.

    Holly Johnson

    Contributing Writer

    Holly Johnson is a frugality expert and award-winning writer who is obsessed with personal finance and getting the most out of life. A lifelong resident of Indiana, she enjoys gardening, reading, and traveling the world with her husband and two children. In addition to The Simple Dollar, Holly writes for well-known publications such as U.S. News & World Report Travel, PolicyGenius, Travel Pulse, and Frugal Travel Guy. Holly also owns Club Thrifty.

    Reviewed by

    • Courtney Mihocik
      Courtney Mihocik
      Loans Editor

      Courtney Mihocik is an editor at The Simple Dollar who specializes in personal loans, student loans, auto loans, and debt consolidation loans. She is a former writer and contributing editor to,, and elsewhere.