Carvana used car financing review 2021
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%
- Low minimum income requirement
- 45-day preapproval period
- Transparent application process
- Financing limited to Carvana inventory
- Negative customer reviews
- High maximum interest rate of 27.9%
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 anyone 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 — and maintaining a Duolingo streak of over 1,300 days.
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
Down payment: $3,380
Term: 5 years
|Credit rating||Estimated APR||Monthly payment|
2017 Toyota Camry SE
Down payment: $3,200
Term: 5 years
|Credit rating||Estimated APR||Monthly payment|
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
Compare more auto lenders
Carvana reviews and complaints
|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 only has a few basic requirements for you to meet.
- Annual income of $4,000 or more
- No active bankruptcies
- At least 18 years old
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:
- Hit See your rate on this page or visit Carvana’s website and click Get pre-qualified.
- Enter information about yourself, including your date of birth and annual income.
- Create an account by entering your email, password and mobile phone number.
- 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
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.
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.
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?
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
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
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
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★★★★★ — 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.