Just about every special finance manager can remember a time when they forgot to ask the right questions during the customer interview and their deal blew up at the point of sale because the prospect's paystub showed a huge garnishment or child support deduction. Or worse yet it was overlooked again at the point of sale and discovered by the underwriter during the funding process.

To put together, close, and fund a subprime car deal you need accurate information. The best way to gather accurate information is to conduct a thorough customer interview during the auto loan application, or application review process. If the prospect has all their STIPS on the first visit to the car dealership your job will be easier, if not you will have to ask open ended, fact finding questions or alternative choice question to uncover any potential deal killers.

Open ended fact finding questions are question that require an answer other than Yes or No.  For example, if the credit application states 2 years on the job, and you state to the prospect, "I see you've been on the job for two years."  There likely to respond with "Yes"

On the other hand if you ask the prospect, "do you recall your exact hire date", or "the month and year you were hired?" You will not only get more accurate information, you will begin having a conversation with the prospect.

Alternative choice questions are less conversational but are appropriate as well.

Following are some of the open ended, fact finding, and alternative choice questions I ask during the customer interview.

    • What are you driving now?
    • How soon do you need transportation?
    • Can you tell me a little bit about your credit history?
    • Whose name is the trade titled in?
    • Do you recall your exact hire date?
    • Have you been on your job over or under two years?
    • The work number you listed, is that a direct line to you or can I use this number to verify employment?
    • You listed your income as $2000, how did you calculate that?
    • What deductions other than taxes and benefits are coming out of your paycheck?
    • You mentioned you had a down payment of  $2000, how much of that do you have with you now?
    • How much more could you put down to qualify for better rates and terms?

By incorporating open ended - fact finding, and alternative choice questions into your credit application or application review process, you will obtain more accurate information and uncover more deal killers quicker.