LOS ANGELES — Special finance lender Westlake Financial Services has announced that it will begin accepting contracts from the State of Hawaii as of May 1.

"We are very excited to provide an additional lending source to both the independent and franchised dealers of the beautiful State of Hawaii," said Kyle Musil, Westlake's western regional manager. "We look forward to providing car shoppers additional financing options at a time when many lenders are scaling back or pulling out of the market."

Westlake, which entered the Louisiana market last month, will now work with dealers in 37 states. Greg Poppe, the company's senior risk analyst, said the decision to move into the Aloha State was a logical one.

"Hawaii hasn’t been hit as hard by the economy as some of the other states," Poppe said. "According to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics, their unemployment rate is about two percent lower than the rest of the nation. This can have a huge impact on delinquency and performance. Additionally, there are relatively few lenders in the state, so there is plenty of opportunity for us to grow.

"Our buy program is here to help dealers sell more cars, and it was improved even more for Hawaii," Poppe added. "This, combined with the dealers' growing need for diversified lending sources, make Westlake a perfect fit. Aloha, Hawaii!"