At Autobytel, online credit applications for subprime loans funneled through its consumer Web sites and those of its partners rose 20 percent in the first quarter this year from a year ago, the company said. Experian Automotive also has reported an uptick in subprime.
“A lot of dealers just don’t understand subprime,” Bush says. He spoke with Special Correspondent Jim Henry last week.
Is demand for subprime up? Or was demand always there, and now all of a sudden people can get approved?
It comes together. The two go hand in hand. Now that you can get bought, you start hearing from people.
What’s your monthly subprime volume? Can you tie your subprime loans to specific leads?
About 75 to 80 units. Out of that, probably 45 or 50 come from Autobytel.
And you’re seeing more of those leads?
All around the market are lead providers. We buy as many leads as we possibly can. In the last six or eight months, I bet it’s up 125 percent.
How does it work when somebody says online they want to look into getting a loan?
For finance leads, there’s a special department that handles that.
Are online leads always subprime? Autobytel says that’s usually true.
The only stuff I get from them is subprime
Dealers don’t widely appear to appreciate that people can ask about a loan online.
A lot of dealers don’t think a lot about subprime. There’s the regular finance department, where everything is sort of done for you. They’re not used to working at [securing subprime financing]. A lot of dealers just don’t understand subprime. It’s not always about shopping for a car.
The knock on leads usually is that the folks are not qualified.
Percentagewise, 70 percent of my leads get bought. They’re pretty qualified when they get here.