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OpenRoad Lending: 2023 auto loan refinancing review

2023-07-20 14:46:02

At a glance

Rating: 3.4 stars out of 5

Bankrate Score

  • Availability
    Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
  • Affordability
    Rating: 3.2 stars out of 5
  • Customer experience
    Rating: 3.4 stars out of 5
  • Transparency
    Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
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About OpenRoad

  • Moneybag

    Loan amount


  • Credit Good

    Min. credit score


  • Rates

    APR from


  • Funds available in

    7-10 business days

OpenRoad auto loans are best for expert support   

The refinancing process can be daunting, especially if you are in a tight financial spot with your current loan. When working with OpenRoad Lending, you will be matched with a dedicated agent following the loan approval process. While OpenRoad isn’t the only lender to offer this level of service — iLending also comes to mind — it’s uncommon.

Consider refinancing your current loan with OpenRoad if you prefer a helping hand.

Pros and cons of OpenRoad auto loans 

Refinancing your vehicle can provide the wiggle room needed to better afford your vehicle. Consider the benefits and drawbacks of working with OpenRoad.


  • Checkmark

    Co-borrowers encouraged

  • Checkmark

    Minimal fees

  • Checkmark

    Low minimum credit score


  • Close X

    Self-employed borrowers excluded

  • Close X

    Unavailable in some states

  • Close X

    High max APR

Founded in 2009, the Texas-based lender matches applicants to a network of lending partners. It serves borrowers across 45 states who want to refinance their auto loans and secure improved rates or terms. The application can be handled online and in minutes.

Do you qualify?

Borrowers must fall within the following criteria to land a refinance auto loan with OpenRoad:

  • Credit score: 500
  • Minimum income: At least $2,000 (cannot be from Uber or Taxi) 
  • Payoff amount: Between $7,500 and $100,000 
  • Mileage: 160,000 miles or fewer 
  • Model year: Up to 13 years old or newer 
  • Max loan-to-value ratio: 120% of the vehicle’s wholesale value (or 175% for those with excellent credit)

Many lenders set mileage and age limits at 100,000 miles and 10 years, respectively, or even lower. OpenRoad’s relatively generous limits stand out. 

OpenRoad also will not offer refinance to the following vehicles: commercial vehicles, motorcycles, RVs, Oldsmobile, Daewoo, Smart Car, Isuzu, trucks or vehicles larger than 3/4 ton and vehicles that are no longer being made. 

OpenRoad versus Autopay

If you like OpenRoad’s loan marketplace setup, Autopay boasts a similar experience. OpenRoad has a slightly lower minimum annual percentage rate (APR) while AutoPay allows borrowers to refinance vehicles for as little as $2,500 — best for those with less expensive vehicles. Autopay has a one-day funding timeline, making it a better option for those in a time crunch. However, Autopay doesn’t disclose its minimum credit score, while OpenRoad says it works with borrowers of all credit types.

OpenRoad versus Auto Approve 

Another lending network option, Auto Approve primarily serves borrowers in the fair credit range with a 640 minimum score requirement. The higher maximum loan amount Auto Approve offers is great for those refinancing a more expensive vehicle. On top of that, Auto Approve also offers RV and motorcycle refinance loans, unlike OpenRoad. 

What we like and what we don’t like 

OpenRoad offers an enticingly low minimum APR and the option to add co-borrowers, but that may not outweigh its exclusion of self-employed borrowers. Plus, OpenRoad doesn’t offer prequalification — filling out an application is the only way to see your rates, and you may take a small credit hit in the process.

What we like 

  • Co-borrowers encouraged: The ability to add a co-borrower can greatly improve your available rates — even with poor credit.   
  • Minimal fees: There are no fees enforced when applying for a refinance loan.  
  • Low minimum credit score: OpenRoad allows those with credit scores as low as 500 to apply — a large majority of lenders set a minimum in the mid-500s or higher.

What we don’t like 

  • Self-employed borrowers excluded: Borrowers whose sole income is from Uber or another form of self-employment cannot refinance their vehicles with OpenRoad. This is an unusual restriction for a lender — especially in the era of side-hustles.
  • Unavailable in some states: OpenRoad’s refinance loans are unavailable in the following states: Hawaii, Alaska, Nevada, North Dakota and Wisconsin.
  • High max APR: OpenRoad’s highest interest rate is nearly 30 percent. A high max rate is expected with lenders working with bad-credit borrowers, but this APR significantly exceeds the national average for deep subprime borrowers.

How to contact OpenRoad 

OpenRoad offers assistance over the phone at 888-536-3024 anytime Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. CST to 7 p.m. CST. Along with this, borrowers can use the site’s live chat function.

Auto loan types offered 

Through its network of lenders, OpenRoad works to match borrowers with potential refinance lenders.  


  • Amounts: $7,500-$100,000
  • Terms: 36-84 months 
  • APR: 4.29%-29.90% (max varies by state)

OpenRoad is an auto loan marketplace, so the specifics of fees and terms will depend on your matched lender. But this structure does allow for a wide range of credit backgrounds — great for even those with poor credit. 

How to apply for a loan with OpenRoad

The application can be handled directly on the OpenRoad site and requires you to input some information about yourself and your vehicle. Following that, you will be matched with a lender from the network. Be aware that some lenders in the OpenRoad network may enforce a hard credit check which can temporarily drop your score. 

Unlike most other online loan applications, you will have to send in some physical documents. Once you gain approval you must fax your completed refinance loan package. If you live in a title-holding state you must overnight the documents. 

Features and additional perks

On top of refinancing auto loans, OpenRoad sells gap coverage and vehicle service contracts. Both of these can be purchased on the OpenRoad site when you are undergoing the refi process. 

Fees and penalties 

Specific fees will vary depending on the lender you get matched with, but typically you will have to pay an origination fee. However, unlike some competitors, OpenRoad itself does not enforce any fees. 

OpenRoad FAQs

How Bankrate rates OpenRoad

Overall Score 3.4
Availability 4.5 OpenRoad offers a wide range of loan amounts and is available in most states.
Affordability 3.2 OpenRoad has no application fee but has a hefty maximum rate.
Customer Experience 3.4 OpenRoad only offers customer support five days a week.
Transparency 2.5 Borrowers cannot prequalify, and not all rates are presented online.


To rate lenders that specialize in auto refinance loans, Bankrate considers 16 different factors. These factors range in consideration from the loan amount, disclosed APR and acceptance criteria. Each lender holds a score based on four categories

  • Availability: This accounts for loan amounts, vehicle restrictions and availability in each state.
  • Affordability: Primarily, this section covers expected APR, acceptance criteria, discounts for autopay and the number of fees. 
  • Customer experience: This category includes online access, support availability, funding timeline, option for automatic payment and app availability.
  • Transparency: Here prequalification and disclosure of rates and fees are accounted for.

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