Carvana used car financing review
Find your next car loan — and used car — from your couch.
- Best for borrowers who want a simple online buying and financing experience.
- Pick something else if you want to buy from a dealership.
3.9% - 27.9%
Rhys Subitch is a writer and editor at Finder who tackles topics across the site. With half a decade of experience researching, editing and writing for a Fortune 500 company, university and several independent publications, Rhys brings readers the most up-to-date and curated info on all things finance.
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: 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.
How much does Carvana financing cost?
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:
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.
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 does Carvana financing work?
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.
When you’re ready to make a purchase, Carvana gives you your estimated down payment amount under the car’s price. Unlike many other dealerships, Carvana won’t charge a dealership fee and presents all the costs upfront, including taxes and registration for your state. You can even trade in your current car to lower the required down payment — or pay it entirely — and the total amount you need to borrow.
But like dealership financing, you may not receive the best rate — so compare your car loan options before settling on financing directly through Carvana.
What do I need to qualify?
Carvana has a few basic criteria you need to meet when you apply for financing:
- Annual income of $4,000+
- No active bankruptcies
- At least 18 years old
What information do I need to apply?
Once you’re ready to accept the terms and purchase a vehicle, you must provide several standard documents, including:
- Social Security number
- Copy of driver’s license
- Proof of income
- Proof of insurance
- Bank account information
- Title and registration of trade-in vehicle, if applicable
- 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%
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.
See other car loan options
What do customers say about Carvana?
|BBB customer reviews||1.5 out of 5 stars, based on 438 customer reviews|
|Trustpilot Score||3.7 out of 5 stars, based on 2,582 customer reviews|
|Customer reviews verified as of||14 May 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 without issue.
How do I apply?
To get started with Carvana, follow these steps:
- 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 will need to provide proof of income and other documentation to complete the financing process.
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.
Depending on the value of your current vehicle, you could make a significant down payment simply by trading it in. 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.
How does Carvana’s seven-day guarantee work?
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.
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.
If you have any questions about your loan, reach out to customer service at 800-333-4554 or log in to your account to live chat between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. ET.
Carvana is great if you want to avoid haggling and negotiating. But if you want the best price, you should compare your options before committing.