A image of a man creating a list of references in black and white

Auto Loan References and How They Work

Milad Hassibi May 1, 2018


If you have applied for a subprime car loan before, you know that most lenders and finance managers will ask you for a list of auto loan references that you can provide.

This list of references is an additional document needed along with the list of documents you must already provide when applying for a subprime auto loan.

Auto Loan References

Since buyers with less than perfect credit scores are viewed as being “risky” in the eyes of most lenders, the finance manager or lending company will require a series of references from you in order to be able to process your loan.

Why do lenders ask for references? In short, it’s to protect their interests. A lender will want to prove your honesty and credibility. It is also very common for first-time loan applicants to be asked to provide a list of references.

Another reason lenders ask for auto loan references is that if you decide to run off without paying your loan back in full the lender will have a contact that could provide information on your location. The person listed as a reference will not be responsible for your loan in any way.

Although compiling a list of 6 people to use as references can seem like a large task, know that most lenders and institutions can be lenient on who the references are. If you are viewed as a “high-risk” auto loan, you could be asked to provide up to 12 references in extreme cases.

Finding References for Car Loans

Subprime lenders will ask you to produce a list of individuals that you know on a personal level. A image of a list of references with an approval logo in green textThese car loan references can consist of parents, siblings, aunts uncles, friends or even co-workers (regardless if they are a former co-worker or a current one).

Many people worry that they cannot produce a list of references, as they may have recently relocated to the area. However, know that lenders do not require that the references be located near you, or even in the same state for that matter.

Besides just their names, your lender or finance manager will ask you for their addresses and phone numbers that they can be reached at. Depending on the lender you work with and the risk you may pose in their eyes, you may be only required to produce 3 references for a car loan.

Some lenders who work with very high-risk borrowers may require 6 references or even more. Be certain that the references that you provide the lender know that they are being written down as a reference for you.

References for Car Loans

You will need the green light from your references because the in-house finance manager may contact them to verify that they personally know who you are.

This will happen prior to you receiving your auto loan. If you want to save time, create a complete list of people that you can use as references moving forward. This can save time and hassle when it comes to creating a list of auto loan references at the very last second.

Get a Car Loan with Any Credit Along with a Happy Couple and a New Black SUV next to them

If you are finding it difficult to create a list of references, just remember that these people can live anywhere in the United States. They do not have to be within your local area or region at all.

The more details you can provide your lender or finance manager, the stronger your odds may be at getting approved for the car loan that you need.

Final Note

If you are looking to buy a new car but have less than perfect credit, CrediReady can help. Our nationwide network of trusted dealers and verified lenders work with buyers in all credit situations. Take a moment to fill out our free no-obligation loan inquiry form and start shopping for your dream car today!



Free Credit Score

Get your free credit score now! Get a copy of your most recent credit score.
get your free score

Auto Insurance

Get your free insurance quote now! Save big on auto insurance today!
get your free quote

Vehicle Warranty

Protect your vehicle and you could save thousands on auto repairs.
get your free quote