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Though it is one of Detroit’s Big Three automakers and inventor of groundbreaking vehicles like the aerodynamic 1934 Airflow, Chrysler later became a symbol of the financial crisis when Italian car maker Fiat took over the ailing brand in 2009. Since then Fiat Chrysler has become one of Detroit’s biggest comeback stories, though there are less than a handful of vehicles with the signature winged emblem, including the 300 sedan and the recently redesigned Pacifica minivan, which also comes in a hybrid version. However, Chrysler customers also have access to cars under the parent company umbrella, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, with vehicles ranging from the subcompact Fiat 500 to Ram pickups big enough to pull 30,000-pound trailers.
If you’re thinking about buying a Chrysler, you might be considering the manufacturer’s financing. This article will walk you through Chrysler Capital’s financing deals, rebates and incentives, as well as leasing options — and alternatives should you decide to pursue Chrysler financing outside of the manufacturer.
Customers may apply for Chrysler Capital’s financing online or at a dealership, but the company also allows customers to prequalify for credit online in a process that does not require a hard inquiry or “hard pull” of your credit information. However, sorting out the exact terms of a loan requires a full application, which is likely to impact your credit score.
Chrysler declined to provide information on the minimum credit score required in order to obtain a loan but said a number of factors, not limited to credit score, influence the decision. According to its press office, Chrysler provides loans to people with a wide range of credit scores.
Some clues into credit scores may be gained by looking at Santander Consumer USA Inc., the U.S. auto lending arm of the Spanish bank; Santander and Chrysler Group LLC jointly manage Chrysler Capital. In 2017, Chrysler Capital loans were evenly split between what Santander refers to as “prime” and “non-prime” customers, according to Santander’s most recent annual report. In other words, you won’t necessarily need great credit to qualify for Chrysler Capital’s financing but, as the report shows, those with good credit receive better rates.
As with most manufacturers, the best deals and lowest interest rates most often go to those with the best scores — if you’re not sure what your credit score is, you can check your credit score at LendingTree.
Chrysler offers a number of deals that are specific to certain vehicle models and local incentive programs, from low interest rates to cash discounts.
Such deals are often time-sensitive and specific to certain vehicles. Buyers have to make sure the car they plan to buy carries the discounts they seek. Always check the expiration date on incentives to make sure they don’t run out before you plan to buy.
This list of incentives is an overview. Additional deals are available and because incentives can change often, shoppers should refer to Chrysler’s website regularly for updates.
Chrysler’s auto loan terms generally range from 24 to 72 months, although the length of the contract might be more limited for certain special deals. Customers can apply for Chrysler financing online or at a dealership, but it’s also a good idea to get preapprovals from additional lenders, including your bank or credit union, if you belong to one. By doing so, you can improve your negotiating position when you visit the dealer because you have more than one financing offer in hand.
Learn more about the benefits of getting preapproved here and fill out an online form at LendingTree to potentially find up to five preapproved auto loan offers from lenders.
Leasing payments for a new Chrysler are generally lower than purchase payments, meaning a lease could leave some extra cash in your wallet or help you get into a car you otherwise couldn’t afford to buy. Leasing could also be ideal if you want a new vehicle every few years. You also probably don’t have to worry about repairs, as most leases occur within the “bumper-to-bumper” warranty. However, mileage and wear and tear are limited, and if you exceed those limits, you can be charged for it.
Low-mileage lease: A number of special lease deals are available, but the mileage limits may be really low — 10,000 miles per year, which many people will have trouble meeting.
Even with mileage limits, leasing is a better fit for the driving habits, budgets and lifestyles of many customers. And because leasing is typically less expensive on a monthly basis, it is worthy of consideration. For more information you can look at this guide on leasing versus buying.
It is wise to apply for auto loans from numerous sources, including banks, credit unions and online lenders. Your credit score will not typically suffer any more damage if you file multiple applications within a 14-day window than if you apply to just one. Compare auto loan offers from up to five different lenders to see which one suits your specific needs.
From its earliest days, Chrysler positioned itself as an upscale brand offering luxurious and innovative features from indirect interior lighting to hydraulic brakes and later, fully automatic transmissions. The company has also historically acquired and developed other brands to serve as entry- and mid-level rungs on the automotive ladder below Chrysler-badged vehicles.
In the 1920s, Chrysler developed the Plymouth and DeSoto brands to help it compete in the mass market for lower-priced cars. In the 1970s, the company formed a partnership with Mitsubishi, hoping to gain from the Japanese company’s experience with small economy cars. In 1987, the company bought American Motors, a deal that gave Chrysler the valuable Jeep brand and its lineup of rugged vehicles capable of effectively driving off-road.
By 1998 Chrysler was making a big push upmarket when it merged with Daimler-Benz, maker of Mercedes-Benz luxury vehicles, to form DaimlerChrysler. The companies did not work well together, though, and in 2007 Daimler sold Chrysler to private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management. After struggling and filing for bankruptcy protection during the auto-industry crisis, Chrysler eventually became a unit of Italian car giant Fiat, forming Fiat Chrysler.
Today, Chrysler vehicles are part of a group that includes Jeep SUVs, Fiat family cars and sports cars, Ram trucks and Dodge cars.
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