Similar to last year, the 2018 J.D. Power Dealer Financing Satisfaction Survey found that dealer satisfaction with lending partners depends on fast and meaningful communication with credit staff. These relationships are becoming even more important as interest rates rise and lending tightens up.

Lender Rankings in Overall Dealership Satisfaction

J.D. Power's Dealer Financing Satisfaction Survey looks at which loan providers across different segments rank highest in overall dealership satisfaction. It's based on responses from 4,476 dealers gathered between April and May of 2018. The four lender segments they examined were floor planning, captive luxury market, captive mass market, and non-captive.

Here are the lenders that came out on top:

Captive Mass Market

  1. Volkswagen Credit: 956
  2. Subaru Motors Finance: 928
  3. NMAC: 901

Captive Luxury

  1. Mercedes-Benz Financial Services: 976
  2. Audi Financial Services: 944
  3. Infiniti Financial Services: 942


  1. Citizens One Auto Finance: 921
  2. TD Auto Finance: 917
  3. Chase Automotive Finance: 869

Floor Plan

  1. TD Auto Finance: 994
  2. Mercedes-Benz Financial Services: 989
  3. Volkswagen Credit: 984

This is the fourth straight year Mercedes-Benz Financial came out on top of the captive luxury segment. Volkswagen Credit, meanwhile, increased their score by 40 points over last year to take the mass market segment after ranking second last year.

J.D. Power's rankings are based on a 1,000-point scale they call the Retail Credit Satisfaction Index Ranking.

How Dealerships Can Improve Lender Relationships

Far and away, a dealership's relationship with a lender is the largest driver of overall satisfaction across all segments, accounting for more than half of the survey's weight. The dealer-lender relationship beat out other factors such as the application and approval process, product offerings, and lease return.

At the heart of these relationships are the interactions between dealer staff and the lender's personnel in the credit department. Satisfaction drops 163 points on the 1,000-point scale when a dealer can't reach a lender's credit staff.

When evaluating your store's relationships with its lending partners, emphasizing those that are consistently available, provide fast response times, and are knowledgeable and able to provide meaningful communication can lead to more fruitful relationships.

Dealership Satisfaction with Lenders Depends on RelationshipHere are some areas you can look for when determining if you can have a productive relationship with a lender:

  • Does their credit desk consistently provide a fast response time? J.D. Power's survey showed that dealers rely on the lender's credit desk as their first point of contact, typically for immediate funding and problem resolution.
  • Do they have somebody you can contact outside of business hours? Surely, your store will appreciate if a lender has a point of contact available for questions after hours, whether it's by phone, email, or text.
  • Do they provide a contact for non-traditional questions? The survey showed that when given the proper person to contact for non-conventional questions, the resolution time decreases, which in turn leads to increased satisfaction.

Lenders who succeed in these areas should be on your preferred list that you can count on, and, hopefully, develop long-standing relationships with that leave you satisfied.

The Bottom Line

The 2018 J.D. Power Dealer Financing Satisfaction Survey shows that great relationships between dealers and lenders stand above all else when it comes to satisfaction. Another way you can improve your store's relationships with its lenders is by delivering complete customer credit applications so lenders can better evaluate risk.

Auto Credit Express delivers some of the best new, used, and subprime auto leads around. In Auto Dealer Today's 2018 Dealer's Choice Awards, we won the Platinum Award for Special Finance Leads because ours are a cut above the rest.

We take the pre-qualification process to the next level with our proactive approach. Consumers seek us out with our widespread web presence, so you know they're serious. Our automotive BDC also gathers and confirms relevant customer information, so applications are always accurate. We also set up appointments with your store's finance department and tell them what stipulations are needed.

We can get serious and more prepared buyers in your door, which you in turn can deliver to your lending partners to stand out above the competition. Learn more by calling us today at 888-535-2277 or filling out our contact form online.