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Valley Bank and Credit Direct offer auto loan financing but operate differently. Established in 1927, Valley Bank is a traditional bank offering personal and business banking solutions. However, Credit Direct is an online marketplace that helps connect borrowers and lenders.
Valley Bank offers fast funding times, but Credit Direct shops your information around to lenders in its network to help you find the best deal on financing.
Valley Bank vs. Credit Direct at a glance
Both Valley Bank and Credit Direct could be viable options for your next auto loan. Still, it’s worth comparing what each offers to determine the best fit. Here’s an overview to help you get started:
|Loans offered||New or used purchase loans||Personal loans that can be used for new or used vehicle purchases|
|Loan amounts||Not specified||$1,000-$40,000|
|Loan term lengths||Up to 76 months||12-60 months|
|Fees||Not specified||Not specified|
|Minimum credit score||Not specified||Not specified|
|State footprint||4 states||14 states|
|Time to funding||As soon as the same day||48-72 hours|
|Autopay discount?||Yes, 0.25%||No|
Valley Bank auto loans
Valley Bank offers new and used vehicle loans online and at its branches in Alabama, Florida, New Jersey and New York. The lender does not disclose its eligibility guidelines or loan amounts. So, applying is the only way to know if you’re a good fit. But as with most lenders, the most competitive loan terms are reserved for borrowers with excellent credit scores.
Its starting APR on new car loans is more than a percentage point higher than the industry average and more than 2 percent higher than the average of 5.18 percent that those with excellent credit can expect. Plus, to get the 7.80 percent starting rate, you must fund an electric vehicle or hybrid and sign up for autopay using a Valley Bank account.
Still, the lender may be worth considering if you already bank with Valley Bank and want an auto loan with an extended repayment period. Valley Bank features loan terms of up to 76 months to help make the monthly payments more affordable. This term isn’t the longest available among lenders — some now offer terms of up to 84 or even 96 months. Remember that if you opt for a lengthy loan term, you’ll pay more in interest over the loan’s lifetime.
- Offers in-person support. You can receive assistance and submit an application for an auto loan at a physical branch.
- Convenience. Unlike some brick-and-mortar banks, you also have the option to apply for financing online.
- Rapid funding times. It’s also uncommon for traditional banks to offer same-day funding, but it’s a benefit borrowers enjoy at Valley Bank.
- Limited online disclosures. Valley Bank does not disclose minimum and maximum loan amounts on its website.
- Online prequalification unavailable. You must formally apply and undergo a hard credit check to view potential loan offers.
- Only available in select states. Auto loans are unavailable to borrowers outside of Alabama, Florida, New Jersey and New York.
Credit Direct auto loans
Credit Direct helps take the legwork out of finding the right personal loan for your next vehicle purchase. The online lending marketplace lets you compare potential loan offers directly from the online dashboard. You can get prequalified with a soft inquiry that won’t impact your credit score.
Another perk of doing business with a lender in the Credit Direct network is the ability to access small loan amounts. Many lenders set a loan minimum of $5,000 or more, which isn’t ideal for a borrower looking to finance an inexpensive used vehicle.
Even better, you can secure the title at the time of purchase since you’re using a personal loan to buy the vehicle. Unlike a traditional auto loan, which is secured by the vehicle itself, Credit Direct offers unsecured loans that don’t require collateral.
- Online prequalification without a hard credit check. You can view potential loan offers without negatively impacting your credit score.
- Low minimum loan amounts. The minimum loan amount of $1,000 is ideal if you only need to borrow a small amount for your first or next vehicle purchase.
- Flexible eligibility guidelines. Credit Direct’s website states that you can get approved even if your credit score is between 500 and 600, lower than the minimum most lenders set. But beware: Bad credit auto loans typically come with steep rates, and Credit Direct’s maximum rate of nearly 30 percent is sky-high for the industry.
- Extensive documentation requirements. You’ll need your most recent W2, a month of pay stubs and your two most recent bank statements to apply for an auto loan.
- Limited availability. CreditDirect only operates in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Texas.
- Smaller loan limits. The average new car price is $48,334, according to Kelley Blue Book, but auto loans with Credit Direct are limited to $40,000. You may need a sizeable down payment if you’re planning on buying a new or luxury vehicle with a Credit Direct loan.
How to choose between Valley Bank and Credit Direct
Each lender has key benefits that could make one better than the other for you. Credit Direct offers financing in the form of a personal loan, so it could be the best option if you want to own your vehicle outright immediately. But Valley Banks also has its share of perks that could make it the clear winner, provided you live in a state where it operates.
Choose Valley Bank for fast funding
Valley Bank can fund your auto loan the same business day following approval. But you’ll have to wait 48 to 72 hours with Credit Direct for funding.
This lender also wins in the support category. Customer service is only available virtually with Credit Direct since it’s an online loan marketplace. Valley Bank offers more than 200 locations in four states to serve you if you prefer to speak with someone in person.
Choose Credit Direct for rate shopping
If Valley Bank offers you an auto loan, there’s no way to know if it’s your best deal without also applying elsewhere. However, allowing Credit Direct to shop your information around means you could save in interest. Accessing potential loan offers doesn’t take much time, and there’s no harm to your credit rating.
You can also apply with a co-borrower if you have a lower credit score to increase your approval odds. And even if you don’t have a co-borrower, you may qualify for a loan with bad credit, as some lending partners look beyond credit scores to make decisions.
Compare more lenders before applying
When financing your next ride, Valley Bank can get you approved and funded quickly. However, Credit Direct could be better if you have bad credit and want a lender with flexible eligibility guidelines. Despite its limited maximum loan amount and slower funding times, you can shop around for a better deal and compare loan offers in one sitting. But if you want the in-person experience only brick-and-mortar banks offer, Valley Bank is best. Before applying with either, explore loan offers with other lenders.