Uber launched a financing program to help drivers with low credit secure a loan for a vehicle.
While people with no credit / bad credit get the benefit of skipping the process of qualifying for a traditional loan, there’s been horror stories of drivers being trapped into interest rates as high as 22%.
To help with your decision, we went out and rounded up 12 [unbiased] expert opinions to help you with your decision on whether or not to apply for Uber financing.
“While Uber financing seems like a raw deal for most people, it may be a godsend for those whose bad credit would prevent them from qualifying for a traditional auto loan.”
Summary: It’s a good option for those with no other options. If you need a car and can’t get financing because of your credit history, Uber will take care of it. However, be prepared to pay heavy additional fees to get the money. These fees can be sometimes triple whatever the regular rate is from other car leasing companies.
“Uber’s lease is more flexible than most subprime leases, the company said. After the first 30 days of the lease, a driver can return the car to Uber with two weeks notice, without any additional fees, apart from the payments they owe and the $250 they paid up front. Many other leases also charge drivers by the mile if they exceed a certain mileage threshold. Not Xchange, though; Uber wants to incentivize drivers to keep logging miles.”
Summary: While the fees are higher, you are also getting built in escape plans. Uber financing is more lenient than other lenders when it comes to getting out of the agreement. However, drivers must follow a simple guideline that requires 30 days usage before returning car after two weeks notice.
“Given the alternatives, Uber’s program may seem like a good deal at first glance. After all, at a time when workers are feeling squeezed by stagnating wages—nationally, 42% of workers earn less than $15 an hour—they may see few other options. But the answer is to raise wages and job standards, enforce the laws on the books, and make sure workers can form unions with coworkers to advocate for themselves, not to promote sham independent business arrangements to workers who deserve a fair shake at the American dream.”
Summary: Sarah takes a strong stance against Uber financing, going as far as to call it a “sham” and the equivalent of modern day share-cropping. In pursuing this further, the writer believes Uber’s finance program is just another way to exploit those who are desperate and hurting the most.
“Uber is one player on a larger subprime auto loan landscape, which many compare to the subprime mortgage market in the early 2000s that collapsed in 2007, leading to the financial crisis and recession. Subprime lending is the practice of giving loans to people with bad or no credit, and it has surged among auto lenders since the crisis.”
Summary: Teddy argues against Uber financing, noting it puts the US in a similar situation to the massive crash of 2009, which was driven by risky subprime loans. She notes this type of financing at large scale can backfire not just against individual Uber drivers, but the economy as a whole.
“Uber’s new Xchange program is certainly unconventional, and it’s worth monitoring to see whether it will expand to more cities. Its flexible terms and lack of mileage limits could appeal to drivers who have their sights set on making some additional cash without having to worry about getting fined for working too much.”
Summary: Uber’s unconventional approach to the auto loan market brings perks that benefit lenders such as lack of mileage limits. Tony believes the flexibility is a good option and the program as a whole is worth monitoring over time. That being said, interest rates are still high and should be reviewed carefully before deciding to commit to anything.
“Uber offers financing to people who are considered so risky they can’t secure financing through auto dealerships. The current low-lending-rate environment in the auto industry suggests that aspiring Uber drivers who can’t find alternative financing deals need to plan carefully before signing up with Uber’s.”
Summary: Although the flexible financing option to drivers is nice, it still remains an incredibly high risk to those with poor credit. Angelo advices those with less than worthy credit to plan carefully before they jump into such a big decision like lending a car from Uber.
“Uber’s mission is very different than that of a car company. It wants more Ubers on the road by any means necessary, and the newer the car, the better. After all, it’s setting out to create the anti-taxi experience.”
Summary: Offering unique financing allows Uber to stay true to its mission of getting as many cars out on the road as possible. The newer, the better. However, in an effort to do that, Uber has ventured into a unique loan-lending-rate program to help expedite its goal of putting more drivers on the road.
“For Uber, having its own flexible leasing terms means more new drivers could be approved to offer rides on its platforms. And that all leads to more revenue for the ride-sharing company, which was last valued valued at $50 billion”
Summary: Uber creating new ways for more drivers to hit the road is great for its business, as it will no doubt bring in more revenue to its fast growing company. Its auto loan program achieves this by having its own flexible leasing terms to current and future drivers.
“Here is how the financing program works: Uber connects low-credit drivers to dealers and lenders. Then it is up to the driver to negotiate the terms of the loan. Uber deducts loan payments directly from the drivers’ earnings.”
Summary: Drivers frequently can have issues making payments to their auto loans, especially if they haven’t worked out the right terms. This is extremely problematic considering those payments continue to automatically deduct from lenders banking accounts weekly, whether they’re driving or not.
“The new Uber Xchange Leasing program aims to take on traditional leasing options, touting that customers can “start driving and earning” with extra convenience.”
Summary: Uber is essentially playing the “extra convenience” card to the fullest when it comes to offering their new leasing program to drivers. Drivers should know that extra convenience comes with extra cost, as interest rates are sky high.
“Should state regulators decide that drivers can’t lease or rent cars, it will in fact pit the agency against several car-booking companies. Not only Uber drivers, but Lyft and Sidecar drivers also lease cars to drive for those apps, those companies said. It would also threaten the existence of startups such as Breeze and HyreCar, whose entire business model is leasing or renting cars to drivers for on-demand transportation and delivery companies.”
Summary: Uber’s financing program threatens startup companies that offer affordable car rentals to people who need a ride. The way it does this is by shedding a negative light on the smaller companies who actually offer better deals for working people. Uber is so big it causes regulation of an entire industry.
“Drivers in a class action lawsuit against the company claim that numbers like that are misleading since they don’t account for the significant expenses Uber drivers must shoulder. Because the company classifies its drivers as independent contractors, business expenses like gas, car maintenance and primary auto insurance are paid by the drivers, not by Uber.”
Summary: Uber is already under heavy scrutiny due to shifting many of the cost to drivers. Although there are benefits like no limit mileage and some covered maintenance; the high-interest rates of the auto loan program piles on to the mountain of expenses.
Wrapping it up
Ultimately, the jury is still out on the final verdict. If you’re in a position where you can’t secure financing through traditional channels, this option may be for you. However, you can expect to pay much higher fees in order to secure it.
We want to hear from you – have you used Uber financing? What are your thoughts? Leave them in the comments below!