How to Jumpstart Your Subprime Department

By Stephanie Atherton | Dealer Services

The role of a finance manager at a car dealership changes the minute non-prime customers walk into their office. Finance managers are typically responsible for getting deals approved, handling loans, and overlooking lead packages to ensure that customers can meet terms. Their job is to match customers with lenders who are willing to finance.

Over the last year, the car industry has witnessed a major shift in Canadian car buyers. There are more non-prime compared to prime buyers. In fact, twenty-five per cent of automotive customers in Canada are non-prime, which means one quarter of buyers have credit scores below 640. Unlike prime customers who qualify for lower interest rates on conventional auto loans, non-prime customers typically pay more and rarely get their preferred vehicle choice.

Sounds like a lose-lose, right? Not so fast. An in-house professional who maintains relationships with non-prime lenders can help find the appropriate non-prime financing for customers, while offering credit rebuilding. Considering car sales rose to an all-time high in February 2017, having a non-prime finance manager who works exclusively with low credit individuals will bring the resources that your dealership needs to cater to people who can’t get approved for traditional financing.

Here are 5 benefits of having an in-house subprime finance manager at your dealership:

1. They stay on top of product knowledge, finance options and subprime industry trends

2. They process subprime deals accurately and securely through federal and provincial subprime regulations

3. They help drive referrals

4. They continuously seek new subprime lending institutions to secure interest rates and financing programs

5. They provide subprime customers with an in-depth explanation of the subprime agreement, dealership procedures and policies

Non-prime finance managers also stay connected with alternative subprime lenders. If your car dealership is continually turning credit-challenged customers away, having an in-house expert who is trained in assessing these individuals and matching them with financing will give your dealership a leg-up on competitors.

Preparing for the dynamic needs of non-prime buyers starts with training your team on how to leverage the variety of options available to customers who can’t qualify for prime rates. If your dealership is ill-equipped to serve these customers, you’ll be missing out on a growing market, your staff will lose income opportunities and your aged inventory will turn into dust collectors.

At Canada Drives, we help hundreds of car dealerships across Canada achieve success with non-prime customers through training and education programs. Contact us here to learn how we can help your non-prime team today!




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