Carvana Review 2021: Rates, fees and terms | finder.com
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Carvana used car financing review 2021

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Find your next car loan — and used car — from your couch.

finder.com’s rating: 4.35 / 5.0

★★★★★

Bottom line: Carvana offers loans for its large inventory of used cars. And while you can’t negotiate, many of its vehicles are competitively priced to match your local market.

3.9% to 27.9%

APR

Details

Product NameCarvana
APR3.9% to 27.9%
Interest Rate TypeFixed
Requirements18+ years old, annual income of $4,000+, no active bankruptcies
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Pros

  • Low minimum income requirement
  • 45-day preapproval period
  • Transparent application process

Cons

  • Financing limited to Carvana inventory
  • Negative customer reviews
  • High maximum interest rate of 27.9%

Expert review

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Review by


Kellye Guinan is a seasoned financial writer with over 500 articles under her belt spanning all things loans from auto to personal to business and everything in between. With four years in the field and five years of research experience, she's able to make complex personal finance decisions easier for everyday people to tackle. When she's not up to her knees learning about the latest trends in lending, she spends her time improving her own financial literacy and expertise.

Expert review

Carvana is the best choice for people who want to take care of financing and buying a car — all from the comfort of home. The financing process requires the same basic documentation as any other lender. But Carvana isn’t as strict: There is no minimum credit score, and you may qualify for a loan with an income as low as $4,000. Terms are highly customizable, and you’ll be able to browse from its large inventory of used vehicles.

However, you may not get the best deal. The price of each car is non-negotiable. Your APR is also set when you apply for financing, although you can change your loan term and down payment amount to adjust your monthly repayment.

For more flexibility, you can compare your loan options to see what other rates you might be eligible for before you shop for a used car through Carvana.

Carvana rates, fees and terms

Financing from Carvana ranges from 3.9% to 27.9%. Loan terms last from one to six years, and the exact amount you can borrow depends on your income, FICO credit score, desired loan term and the car you want to purchase.

Carvana provides an estimated monthly payment for every vehicle so you can see the potential cost of using its financing — making it easy to compare it with other lenders. We used Carvana’s calculator to determine the interest rate and monthly payment of two popular used car models:

2017 Honda Civic LX

Price: $16,900
Down payment: $3,380
Term: 5 years

Credit ratingEstimated APRMonthly payment
Excellent6.17%$288
Good 9.7%$313
Average14.26%$347
Below average20.48%$397

2017 Toyota Camry SE

Price: $15,790
Down payment: $3,200
Term: 5 years

Credit ratingEstimated APRMonthly payment
Excellent6.17%$269
Good9.7%$292
Average14.37%$325
Below average20.6%$371

While we use five-year terms in our examples, many borrowers who finance through Carvana opt for a six-year term. A longer term can help lower your monthly repayment, but it can also lead to spending more in interest over the life of your loan. Since Carvana offers a range of loan terms, consider if a long-term car loan is the right choice before applying.

Use the calculator below to estimate your potential monthly payment with other lenders:

Note for residents of Missouri and Oklahoma

Because of state laws, you’ll need to register your vehicle — rather than Carvana taking care of it for you. Taxes will need to be paid to the state, along with any applicable registration and title fees.

How Carvana compares to other lenders

Carvana reviews and complaints

BBB accredited Yes
BBB rating A+
BBB customer reviews 1.46 out of 5 stars, based on 633 customer reviews
BBB customer complaints 997 customer complaints
Trustpilot Score 3.7 out of 5 stars, based on 3,097 customer reviews
Customer reviews verified as of 19 October 2020

Although Carvana receives mixed reviews, none of the recent ones have had major issues — or outstanding positive experiences — with its financing program. However, there are quite a few negative reviews for its loan servicer, Bridgecrest. Many customers had issues with customer service, and quite a few have had problems paying off their loan.

Carvana requirements

Carvana only has a few basic requirements for you to meet.

Personal requirements

  • Annual income of $4,000 or more
  • No active bankruptcies
  • At least 18 years old

Vehicle requirements

Your loan must be used to purchase a used vehicle from Carvana’s inventory. But beyond that, there are no restrictions. If you qualify for financing, you should be able to purchase any vehicle within your price range.

How the application works

To get started with Carvana, follow these steps:

  1. Hit See your rate on this page or visit Carvana’s website and click Get pre-qualified.
  2. Enter information about yourself, including your date of birth and annual income.
  3. Create an account by entering your email, password and mobile phone number.
  4. Read Carvana’s disclosures and click Get my terms.

Carvana may require you to enter your Social Security number to confirm your identity. Once you’re ready to buy a car, you’ll need to provide proof of income and other documentation to complete the financing process.

Case study: Kellye’s experience

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Kellye Guinan
Writer/Editor

After a year and a half writing about car loans, I’d come to one conclusion: It’s a complex process that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Carvana offered easy, step-by-step instructions and a decent rate for someone without much credit history.

Securing my financing took maybe 30 minutes, and after scanning in some documents, I was approved. A Carvana representative gave me a quick call, verified my info, then confirmed my car drop-off date. During the seven-day return period, I had it looked over by a trusted mechanic and was good to go.

Overall, my experience with Carvana was positive. My monthly repayment is affordable, my car drives well and I feel like I was treated fairly during the buying and financing process. I would recommend Carvana to younger borrowers without a solid credit history, especially if you want to avoid a salesman.

However, you give up your ability to negotiate your price and APR that you’re quoted. If you want to get the best deal possible, it may be worth finding financing ahead of time and stopping by a dealership to whittle down the sticker price.

What sets it apart

Carvana offers loans for its inventory, giving you a convenient way to pay for your car. You can apply when you’re ready to buy a car, or you can get preapproved for 45 days to browse its inventory with an idea of how much you can afford. Every vehicle in Carvana’s inventory undergoes a 150-point inspection and comes with a free CarFax vehicle history report so you can ensure it’s in good driving condition before you have it delivered.

45-day preapproval period

Once you’re preapproved for financing, you have up to 45 days to browse Carvana’s inventory of vehicles — most lenders only offer 30 days. Carvana updates its listings frequently, so if you don’t find the right fit, check back to see if any new options have come onto the site.

Free delivery in some states

If you live within Carvana’s delivery area, you could get your car shipped for free — or only pay a refundable shipping cost. For those that aren’t in Carvana’s delivery area, you will have to pay a nonrefundable $599 delivery fee. You could also pick up your car from a vending machine or meet a Carvana representative within the delivery area to avoid paying shipping.

Seven-day return policy

As long as you keep the car in the same condition it arrived in, don’t drive more than 400 miles and call by 5 p.m. ET on the seventh day, you’ll be able to return your car. Racking up over 400 miles will cost you $1 for each mile over 400, but you can still return it.

The seven days start on the day you receive your car. The delivery fee is nonrefundable, but you’ll receive a refund on your loan and down payment if you choose not to keep your car.

100-day warranty included

All cars sold by Carvana have a 100-day/4,189-mile limited warranty. You may also be eligible for CarvanaCare, which is an extended warranty to cover vehicle defects and repair costs after your initial warranty has run out.

Trade-ins accepted

You don’t need to buy from Carvana to sell your current car. To get a quote on your trade-in, submit your license plate or VIN. If you do plan on buying from Carvana, you could make a significant down payment, depending on the value of your current vehicle.

No-haggle pricing

Carvana sets its prices based on vehicle condition and comparable vehicles in your area. You won’t be able to haggle or lower the price — or the down payment you’re required to make — but it might not matter. Carvana’s pricing is still competitive, and for people who hate negotiating, it’s a convenient way to avoid the sales runaround of a traditional dealership.

Is Carvana legit?

Yes, Carvana is a legit financing company and used car dealership — despite only operating online. Its privacy policy covers how it shares your personal information, and its website is encrypted to keep your information safe.

I got financing from Carvana. Now what?

You can shop for used cars in Carvana’s inventory. You have up to 45 days, so take your time to browse different vehicles.

Your loan terms may adjust slightly by vehicle, which can help you make the right decision for your ride and wallet. Once you find a car, you’ll start the buying process — typically just a few minutes — and get everything finalized with a call from a Carvana representative.

If you don’t have a trade-in, you’ll need to make a down payment. These are set by Carvana and can be paid through a combination of cash and ACH transfer.

Carvana takes care of registration, so when your car is delivered, it will come with temporary plates. Your official plates will come in the mail about 30 days later. Once you take possession of your car, you’ll have seven days to drive it around and get it checked by a trusted mechanic. If you decide to keep it, Bridgecrest takes over. Set up an account on its website to get started making repayments on your loan.

Compare more car loan options

Data updated regularly
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PenFed Auto Loans
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Starting at 1.04%
Up to 10 years
Active membership with PenFed
Low APR car loans from a well-known credit union.
Carvana
No minimum credit score
3.9% to 27.9%
Varies
18+ years old, annual income of $4,000+, no active bankruptcies
Get pre-qualified for used car financing and receive competitive, personalized rates.
car.Loan.com Car Loans
300
Varies by network lender
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Must be a US citizen with a current US address and employed full-time or have guaranteed fixed income.
Apply with a simple online application to get paired with a local auto lender. No credit and bad credit accepted.
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No minimum credit score
Varies by network lender
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Must provide proof of income, proof of residence, and proof of insurance.
Save time and effort with this lending service specializing in beginner-friendly or subprime car loan.
Auto Credit Express Car Loans
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Get connected with an auto lender near you, even if you have bad credit.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Frequently asked questions

Our answers to common questions asked about Carvana’s financing.

What is Bridgecrest?

Bridgecrest is Carvana’s servicer. It will reach out around 10 businesses days after your financing is approved and your car is delivered to set up your monthly payments. You’ll need to make the first of your monthly payments 28 to 30 days after you receive your car.

Can I get a car through Carvana with bad credit?

Yes, Carvana works with all types of credit as long as you meet its basic eligibility requirements.

Can I add a cosigner to my loan?

No. Carvana only allows individuals to borrow loans. However, you can find financing through a bank or other lender that allows a cosigner and use that funding to purchase your vehicle from Carvana.

How long does it take Carvana to verify income?

It depends on how many other people are also applying for financing through Carvana. Once you submit your application, it goes into a queue for underwriting. Once an underwriter picks it up, it generally takes between one or two business days to verify your income.

Car loan ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

We rate car loan providers on a scale of 1 to 5 stars based on factors like transparency, costs and customer experience. We don’t take into account elements like eligibility criteria, state availability or payment frequency — we save that for our reviews.

Read the full methodology of how we rate car loan providers to get a better picture of what goes into each star rating.

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6 Comments

    Default Gravatar
    Sonia
    September 9, 2019

    I was prequalified at $400 down, how does the first payment work?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      Jhez
      September 10, 2019

      Hi Sonia,

      Thank you for your comment.

      With Carvana, you’ll need to make the first of your monthly payments 28 to 30 days after you receive your car. They do not have prepayment penalty, but they charge late fees.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

    Default Gravatar
    Alisha
    May 29, 2019

    Can I purchase with a state I.d or do it have to be a valid drivers license? Also can I use a prepaid card for purchase

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      Bella
      May 30, 2019

      Hi Alisha,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      As I checked, if you’re purchasing a car, you’ll need to provide a valid driver’s license under your name. You may contact Carvana directly at 1.800.333.4554 to inquire for alternative ID’s that you may use in purchasing a vehicle. While I’m unsure what type of prepaid card you have, as per Carvana, credit cards can’t be used to make a down payment. Downpayment must be made all at once using cash, ACH, trade or a combination of the three.

      I hope this helps.

      Kind regards,
      Bella

    Default Gravatar
    Masood
    November 24, 2018

    Does Carvanna finance for first time buyers who has no credit history but has a substantial annual income above 30000 and offer financing with zero down.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      nikkiangco
      November 30, 2018

      Hi Masood,

      Thanks for getting in touch! As per our page, the eligibility standards of Carvana are:

      -Be at least 18 years old. Depending on your state’s regulations on lending, you may need to be older.
      -Make at least $10,000 annually. You aren’t limited to strictly receiving income through employment, just be sure you can provide proof of income upon request.
      -No active bankruptcies. Past bankruptcies may be accepted.

      As a friendly reminder, review the product disclosure statement of the product and contact the lender should you need any clarifications about the loan. Hope this was helpful. Don’t hesitate to message us back if you have more questions.

      Best,
      Nikki

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