Santander Consumer USA unveiled a redesigned company website that puts emphasis on obtaining loans, the company announced in a press release.
Through the new site, consumers can get pre-approved for financing and take the deal to their local dealership through RoadLoans, Santander’s online, direct lending division.
While there have been no upgrades made to the RoadLoans platform, the redesign more easily redirects consumers to that site. The home screen has an auto finance tab that redirects shoppers to information about new and used financing and includes a button to start the application process on RoadLoans. The subprime lender noted during its fourth-quarter earnings report that its digital efforts will be an ongoing focus moving forward.
The site also contains a financial education learning center through which users can find features such as online courses, glossary terms, several finance calculators, and monthly budgeting tools.
“Approximately half of Americans feel stressed about their finances,” Mary Davis, executive vice president of consumer practices for Santander, said in a press release. “We believe that when consumers know more about financing, credit, and budgeting, they can reduce the stress they may feel over issues related to managing their money.”
The website changes come on the heels of a report citing Santander as one of several subprime lenders using a loophole in indirect lending that allows dealerships to legally charge consumers interest rates that would be considered illegal by New York state law were it made as a direct loan. In New York state, charges above 16% interest are considered a violation of the states civil usury laws. The report refers to an example of Santander securitizing roughly 3,000 indirect loans on the secondary market, of which, 57% had interest rates that exceeded the state’s civil usury cap. Santander declined to comment on the report.