ATLANTA — AutoTrader.com now offers a credit center that caters to credit-challenged car shoppers. The credit center is a key component of AutoTrader.com's new suite of 2007 dealer advertising solutions, which annually deliver products and services to its dealer customers to more effectively drive qualified buyers to their dealerships.
The credit center is a first-of-a-kind online match-making tool that helps credit-challenged buyers locate local dealers who provide financing solutions that meet their needs. Prior to the introduction of AutoTrader.com's credit center, the only way credit-challenged buyers could locate dealers interested in serving them was to either physically search for and visit dealerships in-person or to use online sites that require the disclosure of confidential personal information.
Consumers access the credit center from AutoTrader.com's homepage and can immediately find local dealers who offer special-finance and Buy Here Pay Here services by clicking on the credit center's "Connect" tab. Consumers are then given the option to enter their Zip code to reveal a list of local dealers who have chosen to advertise their Buy-Here, Pay-Here services on AutoTrader.com. The feature also provides a map of the local area dealerships included in the generated list.
"The credit center provides AutoTrader.com Buy Here Pay Here dealer customers with a unique avenue to merchandise their services in a powerful new way to credit-challenged car shoppers," said Chip Perry, president and chief executive officer, AutoTrader.com. "Now, dealers can not only merchandise their dealerships to this audience in a highly-targeted fashion, but they can also better merchandise their vehicles to these customers more effectively."
"Today, the buy here, pay here industry is the most rapidly growing segment of the automotive industry," said Ken Shilson, CPA and founder of the National Alliance of Buy Here, Pay Here Dealers (NABD). "AutoTrader.com's new credit center connects a growing number of credit challenged customers withdealers that can help them. What a great combination!"
Additionally, the credit center helps deliver more in-market Buy-Here, Pay-Here prospects to dealers by providing credit-challenged shoppers with educational tools and the opportunity to learn more about their own credit through several non-invasive features, such as the car credit wizard. Also located under the credit center's "Connect" tab, the wizard gives shoppers the opportunity to learn more about their own estimated level of credit by answering a series of short questions. Consumers' answers are anonymous and the information is neither shared with lenders nor stored by AutoTrader.com. Based on consumers' answers and their corresponding estimated credit level — "excellent to good," "good to fair" or "fair to poor" — the credit center provides a list of local dealers best equipped to work with car shoppers in each respective credit category. In turn, the feature not only assists car shoppers, but also provides dealers who offer specific credit-based services with qualified showroom traffic.
The credit center also offers educational insight under the "Learn" tab for first-time car buyers and to those individuals who do not have an established credit record; and also, the center provides shoppers with a tool located under the "Calculate" tab to calculate payments and other car-buying financial scenarios.