Uber's subprime leasing program Xchange is intended to fuel the company's growth by expanding the pool of new drivers. Bloomberg News spoke to a group of five auto-finance experts who believe the leases are expensive, and that the cost is greater than the benefit for the average driver. These criticisms raise the question of whether or not these sub-prime loans are intended to profit off drivers rather than increase the pool of drivers.
Xchange isn't intended to be a moneymaker, said an Uber spokesman. But it has plenty of critics who accuse the company of looting the pockets of its drivers. The program is plagued by a lot of questions that surround other subprime lending programs aimed at risky borrowers with bad credit. Is Xchange really offering good deals? Does it ensnare drivers with commitments they can't meet? "You can buy the car for what they're charging you in weekly payments," said Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at personal-finance website Bankrate.com. But for many drivers who sign up with Xchange, it's their only option.