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 CarsDirect
Bankrate score 3.3/5 3.5/5
Better for
  • A positive reputation
  • Full-service car-buying experience
Loans offered
  • New and used auto loans
  • Refinance loans
  • New and used auto loans
  • Refinance loans
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
Best for: Refinance loans

Auto Credit Express

Rating: 3.3 stars out of 5
Learn more in our Bankrate review
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    • Flexible underwriting criteria: The lender considers more than just credit scores when evaluating rates, including employment and income.
    • Co-signers allowed: Borrowers are encouraged to add a co-signer to the loan which can help those with poor credit secure a better rate.
    • Low minimum income requirement: Borrowers only need to have a monthly income requirement of $1,500 to qualify.
    Red circle with an X inside


    • Limited customer support: The company does not offer customer support for borrowers on weekends.
    • Unspecified APR: The lender doesn’t share rate ranges on its website, making it hard to compare them with other lenders.
    • Limited inventory: If you’re buying a new car, you must purchase from one of Auto Credit Express’s partner dealerships. While they have more than 4,400 partners, many other lenders let you buy from any dealership.

Best for: Full-service car-buying experience


Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Learn more in our Bankrate review
  • Green circle with a checkmark inside


    • Bad credit loans: Like Auto Credit Express, CarsDirect caters specifically to those with poor credit who require vehicle financing.
    • Minimal fees: There are no additional fees enforced when shopping for a vehicle or loan, though some lenders may charge additional fees.
    • Large lender network: CarsDirect works with a large lender network, which can make it easier to find a lender that fits each borrower's specific needs.
    Red circle with an X inside


    • Unspecified rates: The lender does not share its minimum or maximum APR. Loan terms are also not public which can make it challenging to predict your monthly payment.
    • Poor customer reviews: Many online reviews complain about CarsDirect’s poor service along with the most serious, distribution of personal information.
    • Minimal information available: The CarsDirect site does not disclose many requirements online for borrowers.

How to choose between Auto Credit Express and CarsDirect

The two lending services are fairly similar, but Auto Credit Express has a better reputation. On the other hand, CarsDirect offers full service by helping you find car dealers and auto loans all in one place.

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 the option with a 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. 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, weigh multiple lender options to find the top option. Compare to find the best rates and terms.