Santander Consumer USA was founded in 1997 and has a service portfolio of more than $40 billion and over two million customers across the entire credit spectrum. The company is headquartered in Dallas and is a full-service, technology-driven consumer finance company that focuses on vehicle financing and unsecured consumer lending products.

Rank Chart
Loan Amount
New Car Term Length
Our Score
#1
$8,000 - ?
36 - 72 Months
6.1
#2
$5k-$100k
24-84
5.5
#3
$1k-$100k
36-84
5.0
#6
Santander
$5,000 - $75,000
Undisclosed
3.9

The Good

  • Instant online application decision
  • Bad credit loans available
  • Refinancing and individual purchase options

Instant Online Application Decision

The Santander Consumer USA website states that once you submit an online application, you will receive a loan decision within 30 seconds. Additionally, the company doesn’t charge an application fee and it will present you with multiple offers from which you can choose. This definitely weighs in the company’s favor, as other auto loan finance companies often drag out the process for days while continually requesting additional information before giving you a final decision.

Bad Credit Loans Available

Santander Consumer USA offers loan options for both new and used vehicles to consumers with bad credit. However, the company does have certain restrictions in place for these loans. The customer must choose a vehicle that is a model year 2006 or newer with 90,000 to 120,000 miles. Additionally, the car cannot be a commercial, conversion, or customized vehicle.

Refinancing and Individual Purchase Options

Santander Consumer USA does refinancing in some cases. In order to refinance, the company requires that the vehicle you’ve chosen be seven years old or newer with fewer than 105,000 miles. Santander Consumer USA also allows vehicles to be purchased from an individual. However, the chosen vehicle must be 12 years old or newer with fewer than 100,000 miles to take advantage of this service.

The Bad

  • Brand confusion
  • Minimum and maximum loan requirements
  • Not all vehicles can be financed
  • No APRs disclosed

Brand Confusion

Santander Consumer USA owns the RoadLoans brand, which can be a bit confusing for some consumers. When you click on “Apply for a Car Today” on Santander Consumer USA’s website, it takes you to the RoadLoans website where you actually apply for the loan.

Minimum and Maximum Loan Requirements

In most states, Santander Consumer USA has a minimum loan requirement of $5,000 and a maximum loan amount restriction of $75,000. Loan minimums do vary in Arizona, California, and Massachusetts.

Not All Vehicles Can Be Financed

Unfortunately, Santander doesn’t finance all types of vehicles. The company does not provide financing for commercial vehicles, motorcycles, conversions, or recreational vehicles.

No APRs Disclosed

Santander Consumer USA has not disclosed interest rates on its company website. While this information is typically determined on a case-by-case basis, it would be helpful if the company at least provided a range so that potential customers know what to expect.

The Bottom Line

Santander Consumer USA offers quick approval, bad credit loans, and refinancing and individual purchase options. However, the company has minimum and maximum loan requirements in place, has not disclosed APRs, and does not finance all vehicles. Additionally, there is some brand confusion between Santander Consumer USA and RoadLoans, which is another auto loan company.

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