How you rate at the dealership:
1. Taking into account how risky the customer is, the lender approves the application at the 'buy' rate, the lowest rate at which the lender will buy the loan from the dealer.
2. The dealer marks up the 'buy' rate to a ceiling specified by the lender. For instance, according to the plaintiffs in the discrimination cases, Nissan Motor Acceptance authorizes a markup of 3 percentage points for 'preferred' applicants; 5 percent for 'standard' applicants; or 3 percent for 'special' (subprime).
3. The lender and the dealer share the extra profits. The plaintiffs said Nissan Motor Acceptance takes 25 percent of the profit from the markup; the dealer, 75 percent.