Solera Auto Finance breaks 2,000-dealer mark

Solera Auto Finance focuses on near-prime and subprime used-vehicle customers and offers what it calls competitive rates, though it retains its own brand name rather than offering a white-label option to dealerships. Retailers who use Solera for a dealership management system can earn rebates on their DMS bill by sending a “handful of loans” each month to Solera Auto Finance.

Wardle said strong demand from the growing dealership base was motivated by both the DMS savings and the “captive-like” nature of the company.

“We sent over deals, received good financing terms and hit our goal numbers with no effort,” Bill Dangra, general manager of Marietta, Ga.-based Drive a Dream, said in a statement Aug. 2. The Solera Auto Finance dealership received a 40 percent rebate on its Solera DMS.

About 45 percent of Solera Auto Finance’s partner dealerships were franchised operations; the other 55 percent were independents, Wardle said. As far as he knew, the independent pool did not included any “buy here, pay here” retailers.

Wardle said Solera Auto Finance sticks to customers with 520 to 680 credit scores. He said he is extremely focused on payment-to-income ratios and is a proponent of bills representing no more than high single-digit or low double-digit percentages of customer income.

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