Powersports lender ThunderRoad Financial’s chief executive, Don Hummer, says the lender is on track to “double” its origination volume by yearend as the company looks to expand, leaning on cloud-based technology to speed funding for dealers.
ThunderRoad’s origination volume as of June is up year over year, largely due to its competitive rates, Hummer said, noting the full-spectrum financier’s rates vary from 4.99 to 17.99. ThunderRoad’s approach to automation and technology, which keeps powersports dealers’ needs in mind, contributed to growth, he said.
“We have not implemented total automation. I know it’s very efficient, but in talking with the dealers, they still want to talk to somebody,” he said. “While we have automated some of the easier parts of origination, at the end of the day the dealer always talks to one of our underwriters.”
Under ThunderRoad’s model, when a dealer or customer sends in a credit application, a third-party program pulls in credit bureaus’ data and displays a page of consumer insights for the underwriter, Hummer told Bank Automation News’ sister publication, Auto Finance News. “That piece is automated, so some deals are very quick,” he said. “We can do these in minutes, even in near prime and subprime.”
ThunderRoad typically funds deals within 24 hours, and often within the same day, Hummer noted, adding that the lender had migrated to a cloud-based system in fall 2021. “The dealers have really enjoyed that. We get a deal in, the deal is complete, we hit ‘fund’ and it’s back,” he said. “That’s been a big boon to us. Our goal is to efficiently let them get their bikes sold, which is what the system allows us to do.”
Despite inventory shortages, consumer demand remains strong and financing volume has held steady, Hummer said. The Reno, Nev.-based lender finances all powersports makes and models, with a focus on motorcycles and ATVs, for about 500 dealers across more than 28 states, he said, noting the lender plans to expand into additional states over the next year.
Editor’s Note: This is an edited version of an article first published on Bank Automation News’ sister site, Auto Finance News.
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