How to Use Sub-Prime Loans to Help Grow Your Business and Satisfy More Customers

Subprime auto leads

Very few people can walk onto a car lot and pay cash for an automobile. Research has shown that only 36% of people have purchased a car outright, and 43% of auto customers are financing their vehicles in some way.

That means auto financing can be a major profit source for both new and used dealerships. On an annual basis, auto financing interest generates about $98 billion in revenue. And car loan interest rates are on the rise: they increased from 4.13% in May 2014 to 4.25% two years later. The average interest rate for car loans is 4.16%, and the average borrow owes nearly $18,000 in auto debt.

There’s plenty of profit to be made from auto financing, but one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to financing solutions. Recently, the average length of a loan for a new car rose to a record-breaking 66 months, while loans for new cars last an average of a record 62 months. As vehicles grow more and more expensive, buyers need more and more time to pay off their cars.

In spite of best auto lead generation practices, no matter how many car loan leads your dealership gets, some borrowers won’t qualify for standard loan terms. Those with credit scores between 500 and 600 are considered subprime borrowers, and those whose credit hovers between 300 and 500 are deemed deep subprime candidates.

People with poor credit need cars too — why pass up an opportunity to tap into the $10 billion subprime financing interest industry? If you can’t help someone who’s just experienced a bankruptcy, foreclosure, or repossession, you’re missing out on a growing population of car buyers.

Also consider first-time buyers, who may not have built up their credit but are looking to finance a vehicle for the first time. Auto sales leads like these can be converted into customers through subprime loans. And when your dealership uses subprime loans, it doesn’t just earn you more profit; over time, it helps the credit scores of your subprime customers.

Remember that to turn those car loan leads into long-term financial success, dealerships will need to take care that each subprime financing deal is well-executed, and that each customer feels respected.

Using only respect and kindness, help the customers manage their expectations. With a low credit score, the car of their dreams may not be feasible — but they may be open to a well-maintained used car if you explain the impact of their credit score respectfully and clearly.

The approval process should be fully explained at the outset. Don’t make anyone wait for hours, or condescend to your customers. Making excuses or cutting corners will result in customers who don’t refer their friends and family, which means fewer word-of-mouth subprime leads for your business.

A simple way to further increase these subprime car loan leads is to follow up with past customers. Even if they don’t need another car at the moment, they may know someone who’s in the market, and following up will make your dealership in particular stand out.

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