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Santander Consumer USA auto loans review

Finance your car through this national bank — just not directly.

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Santander Consumer Affairs, owned by Santander Bank, offers new and used auto financing through RoadLoans. But if you’re looking for a lender with transparent terms, you may want to borrow elsewhere.

What types of auto loans does Santander offer?

Santander doesn’t offer car loans directly, but its subsidiary RoadLoans has four basic options:

  • New car loans
  • Used car loans
  • Car loan refinancing
  • Cashback refinancing


  • All credit types accepted
  • Works with thousands of dealerships


  • Bad borrower reviews
  • Limited information online
  • Not a direct lender

Compare other car loan options

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Name Product Filter Values Minimum credit score APR Loan term Requirements
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Starting at 4.89%
3 to 7 years
Active membership with PenFed
One of the largest national credit unions in the U.S., it offers new and used auto financing with transparent low rates.
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3.99% to 35.99%
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Credit score of 500+, legal US resident and ages 18+.
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5.59% (as low as)
1 to 6 years
18+ years old, US citizen or permanent resident
A car loan connection service for borrowers looking to refinance.

Santander reviews and complaints

BBB accredited No
BBB rating C
BBB customer reviews
BBB customer complaints 2,046 customer complaints
Trustpilot Score 4.5 out of 5 stars, based on 1,391 customer reviews
App Store Score 4.7 out of 5 stars, based on 216,748 customer reviews
Google Play Score 4.2 out of 5 stars, based on 33,034 customer reviews
Customer reviews verified as of 19 October 2020

Santander may receive an C rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), but it has over 2,000 complaints filed against it over the past three years as of October 2020. Multiple borrowers state that Santander refused to work with them during difficult financial times, charging them fees and offering no extensions on payment plans.

But RoadLoans has a better track record in the reviews department on Trustpilot. The 60 most recent reviews are all positive, with customers praising the staff and the quick process. Many of these customers were invited by the company to review their experiences.

How do I apply?

Santander doesn’t offer an online application on its website. However, you can apply with its subsidiary by following the steps on our review of RoadLoans.

How do repayments work?

Santander offers a wide variety of repayment methods, including:

  • By automatic ACH transfer
  • Over the phone
  • By mail
  • Through its online portal
  • Through Western Union, MoneyGram, CheckFreePay or PayNearMe

Santander doesn’t directly state if you can defer a payment, but you can change your due date. However, this can only be done once — and it’s permanent.

And while Santander doesn’t state what kind of fees it charges, you may have to pay a late fee if you miss a payment. The specific amount is determined by your contract.

Bottom line

Santander Consumer USA may not offer loans directly, but it backs both RoadLoans and Chrysler Capital. Borrowers with bad or no credit may be able to get access to funding. But if you’re looking for a lender that’s more up front about its terms, compare your car loan options to see what else you could qualify for.

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