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

Compare more loans offered by Santander Bank

Pros

  • All credit types accepted
  • Works with thousands of dealerships

Cons

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

Compare other car loan options

Updated February 17th, 2020
Name Product Filter Values Minimum credit score APR Loan term Requirements
car.Loan.com Car Loans
300
Varies by network lender
Varies by lender
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.
SuperMoney Auto Purchase Loans Marketplace
600
Varies by lender
Varies by lender
Fair to excellent credit, an income source, US citizen or permanent resident, 18+ years old
Find an offer and get rates from competing lenders without affecting your credit score.
CarsDirect Auto Loans
Varies by network lender
Varies by network lender
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
300
Varies by network lender
Varies by lender
Must be employed full-time or have guaranteed fixed income of at least $1,500/month and be a current resident of the US or Canada.
Get connected with an auto lender near you, even if you have bad credit.
Monevo Auto Loans
500
3.99% to 35.99%
3 months to 12 years
Credit score of 500+, legal US resident and ages 18+.
Quickly compare multiple online lenders with competitive rates depending on your credit.
LightStream Auto Loans
Good to excellent credit
Competitive
2 to 7 years
Good or excellent credit, enough income or assets to afford a new loan, US citizen or permanent resident, 18+ years old
Quick car loans from $5,000 to $100,000 with competitive rates for borrowers with strong credit.
LendingTree Auto Loans
Good to excellent credit
Starting at 3.09%
Varies by lender
18+ years old, good to excellent credit, US citizen
Compare multiple financing options for auto refinance, new car purchase, used car purchase and lease buy out.

Compare up to 4 providers

What do customers have to say about Santander?

Santander may receive an A rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), but actual customer reviews are wholly negative. It’s had nearly 2,000 complaints filed against it over the past three years, and it receives 1 out of 5 stars from over 100 customers. Multiple borrowers said that Santander refused to work with them during difficult financial times, charging them fees and offering no extensions on payment plans.

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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