Solving the Car Loan Challenge for Economically-Disadvantaged Consumers

Ask any car dealer and they will tell you a story about someone they wanted to help but couldn’t. People like Sandra, 58, a longtime employee at a chicken processing facility in Texas who tried to get a car when she had no credit. “I was working to pay for my car just to keep my job. When my car broke down, I was forced to pay $500 a week for a car rental after being turned away at dealerships for having no credit.”

It’s the same story for army vets, single moms, college students and recent immigrants in every community across America. If they can get a car loan, many buyers without established credit histories end up with rates exceeding 18%.  More often first-time buyers like Sandra are turned away and forced to seek dramatically more expensive alternatives. 

Our existing system of risk-based pricing for auto loans and credit scoring simply doesn’t work for certain target demographics. 

The impact is broader than just the math of a high car payment. Economically-disadvantaged applicants are being squeezed by inflation, and often need transportation just to get to their jobs. Jobs which already put them at the lower end of the economic spectrum. A high car payment makes it that much harder to pay for other necessities like food, lodging, health care and childcare. Which in turn means more families living on the edge, with no savings or emergency funds. It is a vicious cycle. 

There is no single solution to the overall problem, but there is one for auto loans – the Suretys PlusOne insurance program. PlusOne focuses on factors like residual income streams and employment history, helping people with limited or no credit history get approved for car loans at a price they can afford, and at an interest rate that will support their financial goals, not compromise them. 

As an added benefit for lenders, PlusOne provides thirty-six months of payment default protection, with costs rolled into the loan and backed by an A-rated, publicly traded insurance company. Lenders get the best of both worlds – helping people and minimizing risk.

Consider the results of a recent successful PlusOne pilot with a credit union in a small community in Texas. Suretys helped originate over $2.3M in auto loans in less than six months, benefiting immigrants, factory workers, veterans, and working people who haven’t had the opportunity to build credit. “As an immigrant coming to the states, you feel unworthy without credit,” one customer shared. “Thanks to Suretys, I can now build my credit, save up, and buy my first house which will allow me to participate in the American dream.”

The Suretys PlusOne program works with credit unions to put people first, lowering financing costs with interest rates below 9.99%. Consider the impact on an economically disadvantaged family. Applicants under this program save on average $150 per month ($1800 a year), which could represent 30% of monthly food spend for a typical lower income family. For more information on the Suretys PlusOne program go to or