Purchasing a vehicle is a significant investment and finding the right financing solution is a crucial part of the process. Today, we’re putting two major players in the automotive finance market head-to-head: Woodside Credit and LightStream.
As we dive into the world of car loans, we’ll be exploring the advantages and disadvantages of both lenders, and ultimately helping you make an informed decision.
A Brief Comparison Table
|Classic and collector car enthusiasts
|Wide range of customers, including new car buyers and refinancers
|Specializes in loans for classic and collector cars
|Broad range of loans from $5,000 to $100,000
|Not publicly advertised
|Competitive rates for good to excellent credit
|Not publicly specified
|Good to excellent credit preferred
|Usually not required
|Online, approval time varies
|Fully online, response within a business day
|Up to 144 months
|Varies based on loan type and amount
Woodside Credit: A Classic Car Enthusiast’s Ally
Founded in 2003, Woodside Credit has carved out a niche in classic and collector car financing, offering low monthly payments and long loan terms.
They’re often the go-to choice for enthusiasts looking to finance classic, exotic, and collectible cars.
Pros of Woodside Credit
- Long-term Financing: Woodside Credit’s stand-out feature is their extended loan terms, which can go up to 144 months (12 years). This means lower monthly payments, making that dream car more affordable.
- Versatile Financing Options: Woodside Credit is not limited to personal use cars. They also offer loans for private party purchases, dealer purchases, auctions, and refinancing.
Cons of Woodside Credit
- Specialized Focus: While their specialization in classic and collector cars is a boon to enthusiasts, this may not suit the average car buyer. Financing options for everyday vehicles may be limited compared to other lenders.
- Down Payment Requirement: Woodside Credit typically requires a down payment. The amount can vary, but it might be a hurdle for those looking to finance the entire purchase price.
LightStream: The Broad Spectrum Lender
LightStream, a division of Truist Bank, offers a wide range of loans, including auto loans. They provide competitive rates and a simple online application process that’s appealing to many borrowers.
Pros of LightStream
- Broad Loan Range: LightStream offers loans from $5,000 to $100,000, making them a versatile choice for a wide range of vehicles and borrower needs.
- Competitive Interest Rates: LightStream offers some of the lowest auto loan rates in the market, especially for borrowers with excellent credit.
Cons of LightStream
- Strict Credit Requirements: While LightStream’s low rates are appealing, they tend to be reserved for borrowers with good to excellent credit. Those with less-than-stellar credit may find it harder to get approved.
- No Preapproval Process: LightStream doesn’t offer a preapproval process. You have to commit to a hard credit check, which can affect your credit score, before you know if you’ll be approved and at what rate.
Key Differences between Woodside Credit and LightStream
To better understand the unique offerings of both Woodside Credit and LightStream, let’s deep-dive into their key differences.
- Target Customer Base
Woodside Credit primarily targets customers who are classic, exotic, or collector car enthusiasts. They offer tailored services for this niche, meaning they understand the unique needs of these customers.
On the other hand, LightStream caters to a broader spectrum of customers. Whether you’re looking to finance a new or used car, or refinance your current vehicle, LightStream has versatile loan offerings to cater to diverse needs.
- Loan Offerings
Woodside Credit’s loan offerings are specifically designed for classic and collector cars. They provide long-term financing options, with terms going up to 144 months.
In contrast, LightStream provides a wide array of loan options, ranging from $5,000 to $100,000. They have a broad range of loan types, including new car loans, used car loans, auto loan refinancing, and lease buyouts.
- Interest Rates and Credit Requirements
LightStream offers highly competitive interest rates, especially for borrowers with excellent credit. They have a “Rate Beat Program” that ensures their rates are always 0.10 percentage points below competitor rates. However, their loans are generally aimed at borrowers with good to excellent credit.
Woodside Credit, however, does not publicly advertise their interest rates. As they cater to a specialized market, their interest rates and approval criteria might be different from general auto loan providers.
- Down Payment
Woodside Credit typically requires a down payment, the amount of which varies based on loan terms and the vehicle’s price.
LightStream, conversely, offers 100% financing, meaning they don’t usually require a down payment. This can make it easier for buyers looking to finance the entire purchase price.
- Application and Approval Process
Both lenders offer online application processes, but LightStream has a fully online process, from application to loan disbursement. They also promise a response within one business day of applying.
Woodside Credit also offers online applications, but their approval times vary and may take longer. This is because they offer specialized loans that may require additional review and documentation.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
LightStream typically looks for good to excellent credit in their borrowers. This typically means a credit score of 660 or above.
LightStream is a division of Truist Bank, which was formed from the merger of BB&T and SunTrust.
Yes, Woodside Credit typically requires a down payment. The amount can vary based on the loan terms and the vehicle being financed.
Yes, LightStream reports to all three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. This means your loan and payments can impact your credit score.
Choosing the right car loan can be a daunting task, but by comparing and contrasting lenders like Woodside Credit and LightStream, you can find the best fit for your unique needs.
The most important thing is to do your research, understand your financial situation, and choose the loan that best suits your budget and your dreams.
Happy car hunting!