Car Loans Being Approved by Smaller, Local Lenders

Who is giving out car loans these days? Ward’s Dealer Business, a magazine for auto dealer professionals, says that smaller banks and credit unions are the ones approving car shoppers for auto loans.

“We’re seeing a shift towards more localized, decentralized lenders,” says Mike Kane, senior vice president-client services for CitiFinancial Auto.
According to Ward’s, big banks are still hurting from the mortgage and credit crisis and because of this, they aren’t giving out car loans like they used to.
Smaller lending institutions doing business regionally, rather than nationally, “can provide very hands-on, high-touch personal service,” Kane says.
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Local credit unions, like the one pictured here in San Mateo, Calif., are helping finance managers find car loans for their buyers.
While big banks and finance companies are being super-selective of whom they finance, car dealers are forced to find someone else to give their customers a car loan. Dealers also are asking local credit unions to finance auto loans.
“As they lose lenders, dealers are saying, ‘Can we sign up with you?’” says David Jacobson, a former dealer who now heads GrooveCar, an online resource for credit union auto loans.
“A year ago, some dealers wouldn’t give us the time of day. Now, they are giving us loan applications from people with (high) credit scores.”
What does this mean to you? Even though major banks and finance companies are in turmoil, smaller, local lenders are still approving buyers for car loans.
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