Nissan is committing to subprime lending, CarsDirect reports. The company laid out its subprime plans to dealers in a bulletin.
The program is called Signature Access Subprime Dual Pass-Through Program. It looks made up but it’s not. The program officially began on March 16 and is essentially a second chance for buyers not approved by Nissan Motor Acceptance. Dealers can send the credit application to outside lenders that specialize in subprime lending. Even though these customers would be financing cars outside of Nissan, they would still be eligible for incentives normally reserved for Nissan Motor Acceptance customers.
Aside from the obvious problem of approving buyers who shouldn’t be approved and getting them into vehicles, the problem is the lenders that they are partnering with.
Nissan has decided to go with Santander Consumer USA and Global Lending Services as the two lenders to approve these buyers. A quick Google search will pull up BBB ratings and that should tell anyone all they need to know. Santander currently sits at 1.08 out of five stars. Global Lending Services is even lower at 1.02 stars.
Santander’s complaints are wide-ranging. From payments being posted to customer accounts late (and having that negatively impact their credit score) to one of the sketchiest things I have ever seen in lending: requiring a double payment at the end of the loan if the last payment is lower than the regular payment amount. Global Lending Services is just as bad. Complaints cover things like overpayments not being returned, processing autopay payments early, and charging a daily late fee on payments that were mailed on time. Having worked in both car sales and consumer lending myself, I can tell you right now that these are two of the worst lenders I ever had to work with.
CarsDirect paints this as a plus for buyers who otherwise wouldn’t get approved for a vehicle. Unfortunately, subprime lending and shady lenders usually go hand in hand.