The Bankrate promise
At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for .
Auto Credit Express and CarsDirect both offer bad credit auto loans through a lender network. They are even owned by the same parent company, Internet Brands. Both companies also offer vague and nonspecific information on their websites. It’s hard to tell what the qualification requirements and loan details are for either company.
However, the lenders do have a few differences. CarsDirect is better for people looking for everything they need to buy a car in one place. The company connects customers to both car dealers and auto loan lenders. Auto Credit Express is best for those who want a few more details upfront and want to know the company has a good reputation.
Auto Credit Express vs. CarsDirect at a glance
While there are few details available online for both companies, here’s what we do know about them.
Auto Credit Express
|Loan amounts||$5,000-$45,000||Varies by lender|
|APRs||Not specified||Not specified|
|Loan term lengths||36-72 months||Varies by lender|
|Fees||None specified||None specified|
|Minimum credit score||Not specified||Not specified|
|State footprint||Not specified||Not specified|
|Time to funding||As soon as the day you apply||Typically 1-2 days|
|Autopay discount?||Varies by lender||Varies by lender|
|Refinancing restrictions||Varies by lender||Varies by lender|
Auto Credit Express auto loans
Auto Credit Express connects individuals with bad credit to lenders. Its partners provide a variety of specialty auto loan options, including bad credit loans, bankruptcy loans and military auto loans. Auto Credit Express refinance loans give vehicle owners who already have loans the opportunity to refinance if their credit score has improved or they would like a different repayment term.
The company evaluates a number of factors to determine loan eligibility and loan amount. This means those with poor credit can often find loan options through Auto Credit Express. The company evaluates income, monthly expenses and other loan payments in addition to your credit score to decide your eligibility and loan amount.
The company offers few specifics on its website, likely because it connects individuals to many lenders with different requirements. However, it does say they can help those with bad credit and no credit. Many lenders require a minimum of a 600 credit score. While Auto Credit Express doesn’t specify its credit score requirements, it can likely help you find a loan if you have a lower credit score. If you are interested in seeing if you qualify, you can either fill out the form on the website or call them.
- Bad credit loans available
- Co-signers are encouraged and could help you land better rates
- Zero-money-down loan options
CarsDirect auto loans
Since 1998, CarsDirect has connected drivers with new and used cars for sale and auto loan options to make their purchase. They cater to customers with all types of credits, including bad credit. CarsDirect is not a lender; like Auto Credit Express, it’s a loan marketplace.
Like Auto Credit Express, Cars Direct provides limited details on their website. It’s difficult to determine who can qualify for their auto loans because it differs from lender to lender. However, the process to find out is quick, free and doesn’t require a hard credit check. Their auto loan request form should only take you about a minute to complete.
Additionally, CarsDirect has a car shopping platform. While you don’t need to purchase the car you’re funding through CarsDirect, the ability to do so adds convenience.
- Work with poor credit
- Large network of lenders
- No extra fees to shop for cars or compare loans, though lenders may charge fees of their own
- No clear applicant requirements
- Minimal information on website
- Many online reviews complain about CarsDirect’s poor service and distribution of personal information
How to choose between Auto Credit Express and CarsDirect
It’s hard to compare these two lenders on criteria such as rates and requirements for an auto loan. Both offer few details on specifics. However, Auto Credit Express and CarsDirect differ in a couple of key ways.
Choose Auto Credit Express if you want the more trustworthy option
Both companies are very similar — they are even owned by the same parent company. However, Auto Credit Express seems to have a better reputation. The lending service has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, though not all reviews are positive. Meanwhile, CarsDirect has no BBB accreditation and many unhappy reviews. If you want to go with the option with the better reputation, Auto Credit Express wins that award.
Choose CarsDirect for a full-service experience
CarsDirect doesn’t just offer to connect you with lenders for auto loans. They can also connect you with both new and used car dealers. Auto Credit Express only offers auto loan and leasing options.
If you want to do everything in one place, CarsDirect is the best option. The lender can help you find a local car dealer for the type of car you want. Then, they can connect you with the financing you need to purchase the car
Compare more lenders before applying
If you are looking for a bad credit auto loan, both CarsDirect and Auto Credit Express can probably help you. The two lending services are fairly similar, but Auto Credit Express has the better reputation. On the other hand, CarsDirect offers full service by helping you find car dealers and auto loans all in one place.
But other lenders serving bad-credit customers earn better Bankrate ratings and offer more upfront transparency. Before you decide on a lender for a new or refinance auto loan, consider multiple lender options to find the top option for you. Compare to find the best rates and terms.