On the Road Lending: Democratizing Car Ownership

Capital One joined forces with On the Road Lending to help working individuals and families gain the freedom of mobility


Car ownership can open many doors to new opportunities including improved opportunities for employment.

According to a recent Capital One White Paper, impacts of not owning a vehicle are felt more strongly among lower-middle income earners (those with an annual household income of $50,000 or less).

Of non-car owners that are lower-middle income earners, 84 percent said they have turned down a job due to not having access to a vehicle.

That lack of ownership can in part be attributed to the roadblocks that many prospective car buyers face.

In an effort to improve the car-buying process, the Irving, Texas-based nonprofit On the Road Lending aims to offer a better solution to help more individuals gain access to car ownership. It provides vehicle selection assistance and long-term financial mentoring to help low-income individuals and families build or rebuild their credit and overcome transportation barriers through car ownership.

Capital One joined forces with On the Road Lending to provide financial assistance for the organization’s outreach as well as support its financial coaches and mentors to help clients with vehicle selection.

“Our most significant challenge is to make people aware that we exist,” says Michelle Corson, founder and Chief Executive Officer of On the Road Lending. “Capital One’s generous contribution to On the Road Lending supports our mission of helping those who need the services most.”

Capital One’s support of On the Road Lending comes as part of the Capital One Impact Initiative, an initial $200-million, multiyear commitment to support growth in underserved communities and advance socioeconomic mobility by closing gaps in equity and opportunity.

How it works

By using character-based lending practices, On the Road Lending gets to know the individual that it’s supporting. On the Road Lending learns about the individual’s past struggles to understand their current financial situation to provide an honest solution.

“Owning a car is incredibly important, offering more opportunities for human connection, economic well-being and stability,” says Sanjiv Yajnik, President, Financial Services, Capital One. “On the Road Lending does critical work that goes beyond just helping people find a car. Through financial counseling and mentorship, On the Road Lending changes lives. We’re working together to help advance socioeconomic mobility and enable more people to pursue their dreams.”

Once the client is approved, the organization works closely with the client to find a car that fits their budget, has lasting value and is in good condition. The financing offer includes a competitive interest rate and a fully protected loan with coverage against unexpected car repairs and losses.

“A year ago, I would have said the most common financial challenge people faced is lack of resources necessary to provide a down payment,” says Marcela Minahan, Loan Origination Manager of On the Road Lending. “Though that is still true, the added challenge of rising car prices due to inventory shortages caused by pandemic-related production issues has become all too real for our clients. That’s where On the Road Lending’s vehicle selection support is bridging the gap by working closely with the clients to find the right car.”

After the loan approval, On the Road Lending continues to support the client with advice on insurance, car repairs and other transportation expenses.

Supporting Financial Well-being Through Car Ownership

Last year, On the Road Lending client Earnest Barnes moved to Aubrey, Texas, with his wife and four children. At the time, he was working remotely, but when his contract ended, he had a difficult time finding employment. With no public transportation in his community or businesses within walking distance, he and his family often relied on delivery and rideshare options, which became costly.

Barnes learned about On the Road Lending through his landlord. It was his first time applying for a loan, but he says On the Road Lending helped him work with what he had, to put him in a reliable vehicle of his own. Today, he hopes to continue working with the company to improve his credit, give his family more financial stability and build rapport with successful people.

“Having no credit experience, it was difficult to get affordable financing,” Barnes says. “Now we are able to get back on our feet after facing so much. I was able to get through school and learn a trade that I can take with me for life. On the Road Lending took a chance on me and my family. They genuinely care about people.”

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