Securing a car loan with bad credit is hard enough but add in the current state of the economy and it gets even tougher. For the person with less than stellar credit, this generally means a large down payment or the need for a cosigner in order to get that new or used vehicle you’ve had your eye on.
“Santander Consumer USA” is a company that specializes in financing people with poor credit. They are typically known for buying bad auto loans from some of the larger, more popular finance companies and taking on the risks that come along with them.
Santander will generally finance you when other companies won’t. Be prepared to pay a higher interest rate though because they want to be compensated for taking a chance on a high risk buyer. This is understandable though as they are only trying to protect their interest. No pun intended.
Santander is also your best bet for auto loan refinancing if you would like to lower your current monthly payment by a couple hundred bucks. During the refinance process, most people are generally able to skip one to two payments before your first payment to Santander is due.
Should you decide to go with Santander I do offer a word of advice. Don’t ever be late on your car note because if you are, they will ring your phone off the hook like nobody’s business. If you’re being hounded by bill collectors now, then trust me, those calls will be nothing compared to the collections department from this company!
If for some reason you find it difficult to make a payment, Santander will work with you. If you are running short one month, they will allow you to make a partial payment which is generally one half of your regular car note. They will also defer up to two payments and tack them onto the backend of your loan if needed. If you’re still having trouble paying, they will offer to cut your loan payments in half for six months to allow you to get caught up on other bills.
Although I’ve never personally experienced this, I do know two friends who’ve gone right up to 90 days late without having their cars repossessed. A word of caution, though… Santander gets more nervous than a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs once you approach 90 days past due, so it’s best to not push your luck!
Finally, a google search on the company will reveal a host of horror stories that make Stephen King novels look like children’s books in comparison but Santander seems to have cleaned up their act over the years and are a great option if you often find yourself living on the financial edge.