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Credit Direct: 2024 auto loan review

2024-01-01 14:00:00

At a glance

4
Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Bankrate Score

  • Availability
    Rating: 3.6 stars out of 5
  • Affordability
    Rating: 3.6 stars out of 5
  • Customer Experience
    Rating: 3.8 stars out of 5
  • Transparency
    Rating: 5 stars out of 5
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About Credit Direct

  • Moneybag

    Loan amount

    $1,000-$40,000

  • Credit Good

    Min. credit score

    Not specified

  • Rates

    APR from

    6.99%-29.99%

  • Funds available in

    48-72 hours

Best for comparing rates

Unlike a bank or direct auto lender, Credit Direct is a loan marketplace. This makes it the ideal choice for those interested in comparing different rates all in one place. Depending on your credit standing, you will be presented with multiple loan options that you can compare.

When comparing loan options, pay close attention to the advertised interest rate, available terms and any fees that may be associated with the loan. 

Credit Direct pros and cons

Credit Direct’s personal loans for car purchases are accessible by borrowers with varying financial backgrounds, and you can get prequalified without impacting your credit score. Still, their availability is limited to a handful of states.

Green circle with a checkmark inside

Pros

  • Flexibility
  • No hard inquiry
  • Range of acceptance criteria
Red circle with an X inside

Cons

  • Limited state availability
  • Small maximum loan amount
  • Significant documentation needed

Credit Direct is a personal loan marketplace that lends both directly and through its trusted partner network to borrowers looking for loans. The vehicle purchase loans offered through Credit Direct have a lower minimum loan amount than most, perfect for drivers looking to finance a smaller purchase. The loans are also unsecured, meaning that the interest rates advertised tend to be slightly higher than a secured loan option.

Do you qualify?

Credit Direct doesn’t specify eligibility criteria on its website or by phone, aside from being a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and living in a state it serves. However, it does indicate that borrowers with all ranges of credit scores are welcome to apply, and it evaluates more than just credit score when evaluating applications. You should also have a steady, verifiable source of income that allows you to make timely monthly payments.

Credit Direct versus LightStream

A comparable unsecured loan option, LightStream offers drivers the ability to finance a new or used vehicle, refinance or buy out their leased car. LightStream has a much larger state footprint than Credit Direct. LightStream also has a much higher maximum loan amount of $100,000 — perfect for those looking to purchase a vehicle that costs more than Credit Direct’s $40,000 max.

Read more: Credit Direct vs. LightStream

Credit Direct versus Regions Bank

Regions Bank offers similar regional coverage to Credit Direct, primarily serving the southern United States. Though the bank-backed lender does not disclose its credit requirements, it tends to serve those with good to excellent credit. It, like LightStream, offers a much larger range of funding, up to $100,000. Regions is especially a good option for those that have a previous relationship with the Alabama-based bank. 

Read more: Credit Direct vs. Regions Bank

What we like and what we don’t like

Credit Direct’s personal loans for car purchases are accessible by borrowers with varying financial backgrounds, and you can get prequalified without impacting your credit score. Still, its availability is limited to a handful of states.

What we like

  • Flexibility: Drivers can borrow as little as $1,000 — perfect for buying a car in poor condition for parts. Plus, you’ll own the car outright since it’s being purchased with a personal loan
  • No hard inquiry: You can view potential rates and terms without having to undergo a hard credit check.
  • Range of acceptance criteria: Credit Direct uses underwriting criteria that take more than just credit history into account.        

What we don’t like 

  • Limited state availability: Credit Direct’s personal loans are only available in 14 states.     
  • Small maximum loan amount: A maximum loan amount of just $40,000 won’t even cover the average price of a new car, which exceeded $48,000 in late 2023. 
  • Significant documentation needed: In order to prequalify borrowers must present two months of bank statements along with one month’s worth of pay stubs.    

How to contact Credit Direct

Credit Direct offers limited 24-hour support via its call center at 866-414-4198. Full service is available during its normal business hours from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET on Fridays. 

Auto loan types offered

Credit Direct provides personal loans, which can be used to purchase new or used vehicles.

New or used loans

  • Amounts: $1,000-$40,000
  • Terms: 12-60 months
  • APR: 5.99%-29.99%

Credit Direct offers personal loans for auto purchases and repairs. An auto purchase personal loan through Credit Direct can be used to finance your next vehicle or buy another for parts. Unlike a conventional auto loan, these loans aren’t secured by the vehicle you’re purchasing. 

The minimum loan amount is much lower than most other auto loan providers, which means you don't have to borrow more than you need. You’ll also have the flexibility to take your money to the dealership of your choice.

How to apply for a loan with Credit Direct

The application process is fully automated on the Credit Direct site, takes only minutes and doesn't require a hard credit inquiry. According to the Credit Direct website, the process is simple, and you can receive funding as soon as 48 to 72 hours via direct deposit.

  1. Select loan amount. Fill out the online form with the necessary information to check your expected rates. 
  2. View loan options. Within minutes, Credit Direct will present you with varying loan options to review. Pay close attention to APR and term lengths.  
  3. Accept and sign. If a loan offer fits your needs, you can finalize the paperwork directly online.
  4. Receive funds. Finally, you will receive the funding via direct deposit.

Features and perks

Credit Direct does not enforce any fees for early loan payoff or making larger monthly payments. Additionally, Credit Direct allows borrowers to apply for a loan with a co-signer, which can mean better rates for borrowers who apply with someone who has a strong credit history. 

Fees and penalties

Credit Direct does not have any administration fees but specific fees vary by lender partner. Be aware of this when comparing loan options.

Credit Direct frequently asked questions

How Bankrate rates Credit Direct

Overall score 4.0
Availability 3.6 Credit Direct only offers loans in 11 states. Its low max loan amount is only slightly offset by flexible terms and a small minimum amount.
Affordability 3.6 Credit Direct scores decently due to its flexible underwriting criteria but still holds steep APRs compared to competitors.
Customer experience 3.8 While there is limited 24/7 call center support, customers can only reach out for full assistance during the workweek.
Transparency 5.0 Credit Direct discloses expected rates and terms and encourages prequalification.

Methodology 

The Bankrate team assessed more than 35 auto lenders to find the best. Bankrate considered 18 criteria, such as acceptance criteria, loan amounts and APR range. These scores are broken into four categories.

  • Availability: Loan amounts, repayment options, dealership requirements and state availability all contribute to this category. Lenders that serve customers nationwide with flexible loan amounts rank higher.
  • Affordability: This section houses APR ranges, acceptance criteria, fees and discounts. Lenders with the lowest rates, fewer fees and the most generous acceptance criteria receive higher scores.
  • Customer experience: Our team looked at how easy it is for customers to apply for and manage their loans. Criteria include how long you have to shop, customer service hours, whether there’s an app and autopay availability.
  • Transparency: This includes prequalification and disclosure of rates and fees. We favored lenders that make it easy for customers to preview possible costs.

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Bankrate.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the lender’s website for the most current information.

Written by
Rebecca Betterton
Writer, Auto Loans and Personal Loans

Rebecca Betterton, a Certified Financial Education Instructor℠, is a writer for Bankrate who has been reporting on auto loans since 2021.

Edited by Editor, Personal and Auto Loans