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Credit Direct: 2023 auto loan review

2023-06-14 00:00:00

At a glance

Rating: 3.8 stars out of 5

Bankrate Score

  • Availability
    Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
  • Affordability
    Rating: 3.4 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 to $40,000

  • Credit Good

    Min. credit score

    Not specified

  • Rates

    APR from


  • Funds available in

    48 to 72 hours

Credit Direct auto loans are best for comparing rates

Unlike a bank or direct auto lender, Credit Direct is an 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 a few loan options. You then can weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each before deciding which one is best for your needs.

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.


  • Checkmark


  • Checkmark

    No hard inquiry

  • Checkmark

    Range of acceptance criteria


  • Close X

    Limited state availability

  • Close X

    Small maximum loan amount

  • Close X

    Range of 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 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 you could get approved if your score is between 500 and 600. 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 boasts 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.

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, boasts 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. Check out our Credit Direct vs. Regions Bank breakdown for more details.

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, their 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 11 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 early 2023. 
  • Range of 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 and takes only minutes with no hard 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 the loan offerings fit your needs, you can finalize the paperwork directly online.
  4. Receive funds. Finally, you will receive the funding via direct deposit.

Features and additional 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 that apply with someone who boasts strong credit history. 

Fees and penalties

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

Credit Direct FAQs

How Bankrate rates Credit Direct

Overall score 3.8
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 3.4 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 4.5 Credit Direct discloses some expected rates and terms and encourages prequalification.


Bankrate considers 18 data points when selecting top auto loans. Acceptance criteria, whether rates and fees are available and APR range all influence lender scores. These scores are broken up into four categories.

  • Availability: Loan amounts, repayment options, dealership requirements and state availability all contribute to this category.
  • Affordability: This section houses APR ranges, acceptance criteria, fees and discounts. 
  • Customer experience: How long you have to shop, customer service availability, whether there’s an app and autopay availability are accounted for in this section.
  • Transparency: This category accounts for the availability of fees and rates along with whether prequalification is available.
Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by 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 is a writer for Bankrate who has been reporting on auto loans since 2021. Through her writing, Rebecca aims to provide clarity and accessibility to the automotive loans industry as the cost to finance new and used vehicles continues to climb due to steep inflation.

Edited by Editor, Auto Loans