In 1985, Jim Barnett Dixon, the founder of Barnett finance Company, graduated from Georgia Southern College. He always had a love for automobiles and had a strong desire to experience the car business. He thinks it may have been because his grandfather was a car dealer and it was in his blood. Nevertheless, Jim went out and landed a position at the local Toyota dealership in Savannah, Georgia. He worked every position he could to gain experience. After one year, he felt he wanted to step away from the car business and explore other options.
In 1986, Jim moved to Jacksonville, Florida to start his first company. He felt it was a necessary move to prove to himself he was capable of making it. He moved to an unfamiliar city where he did not know a soul and started an unfamiliar business with no experience. He felt this would be the ultimate test. It was a struggle but Jim passed his self induced test with flying colors. In 1989 Jim sold his company at a handsome profit and moved back to Savannah.
During a brief stint in the family hotel business, Jim was anxious for other opportunities as any stereotypical entrepreneur. He began his search for other business opportunities and quickly realized that financing for start up companies was difficult. Getting a loan was tough. Jim recognized how difficult it was for people to get even a small loan in a time of need. He saw that the banks were only interested in helping customers if they had perfect credit and excellent income. Jim realized that many people did not fit that profile and simply had no where to go. He made the decision to start a small loan company. With the revenue from the sale of his prior business and a second mortgage on his home, Jim had the seed capital necessary to start his loan business. Since he was an automotive enthusiast, he decided to specialize in making loans on automobiles. He opened a small loan store in Savannah, Georgia and began making auto loans.
As time progressed, the same people that were getting loans on vehicles they already owned were interested in trading up and buying newer vehicles. The only problem was, they needed financing. He also realized that many of them had challenged credit and the banks were not interested. At that point, Jim decided to capitalize on his previous automotive experience and become a car dealer to help service needs of his customers. In 1990, Jim opened his first car dealership. He provided financing for all of his customers. Over the next few years, business was growing. Three more dealerships were added. At that point, Jim felt it became necessary to establish a finance company to service these dealerships and streamline the decision and servicing process.
In 1994, Jim formed Barnett Finance Company Inc. Barnett Finance became essentially a captive lender for all of the related dealerships. Over the years to come, many changes came about in the auto and finance business. The Barnett program was refined more and more. It became obvious that the program would work for any and all car dealers. In early 2002, Jim exited the car business to focus solely on the finance business. At that point, Barnett then began servicing the needs of all the local new and used car dealers in the Savannah area. We offered the service that the big lenders would not. Same day funding and 3 minute callbacks were unheard of in the auto finance industry but not for Barnett. The local dealers now had a source for customers that would normally have walked and they were making a profit with additional sales.
Today Barnett is conducting business along the entire eastern seaboard. Literally hundreds of lenders have come and gone but Barnett has stood the test of time. We are a leader in the subprime market. The Barnett team is comprised of seasoned automotive professionals that have been on both sides of the table. We understand what it takes to make deals happen and specialize in deals that "make sense". If you are a dealer looking for an experienced lender to bring profits to your bottom line, give you timely callbacks and fund your deals quickly, look no further than Barnett Finance Company Inc. Give us a call today.