SAN DIEGO — On the heels of a refinance marketing campaign last week, Westlake Financial is bullish on growing its direct lending originations threefold, David Goff, vice president of marketing, told attendees at the Auto Finance Sales & Marketing Summit on Monday.
Goff anticipates the direct lending volume — which currently makes up 4% to 5% of Westlake’s overall originations — to potentially triple by yearend. Westlake reentered the refi space six to eight months ago, he added.
“We had an amazing marketing campaign this last week, and we weren’t really sure what was going to happen,” Goff said. “But the success of it … changed our thought of what we can do in that market, and so by the end of the year I’d like to say [direct lending] will be up to 10% to 12% of our originations. But that could change based on our continued aggressiveness in that space.”
The campaign targeted customers who had submitted auto loan applications to Westlake but ultimately did not receive funding through Westlake, Goff explained. Just on the first day of the campaign, the Los Angeles-based lender had booked about 100 refinance loans.
“We target our lost customers through dealerships, the ones that make six to nine months of payments, Goff said, noting that Westlake prequalifies these customers up front and remarkets them to get them back on its books. “When you already know they were out in the market and have a good payment history with their existing loan, it allows you to be more aggressive on the loan structure.”