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      November 29, 2020

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Auto Credit Express vs LendingClub

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To help you find the Best Auto Loans, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Auto Credit Express and LendingClub.

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Where can you get the best auto loans? You're right if you suspect that the answer to that question is "not necessarily at the dealership".

You might initially be lured in by a dealership's attractive 0% financing offers - but unless you've got extremely good credit, you're not going to qualify. And, in the excitement of getting your new (or new-to-you) car, you could wind up with interest rates on your car loan that are even higher than what you'd get elsewhere.

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2020

Auto Loan Reviews

3.5 stars
Auto Credit Express

AUTO CREDIT EXPRESS

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BBB Rating:

A+, accredited since 2004

If you're trying to buy a car and your credit history is less-than-perfect, you might want to check out Auto Credit Express. This service has a good reputation: an "A+" and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, with very few complaints over more than 20 years in operation. In other words, if you've got bad credit, this is a good option to have!

Quick & easy application

The online application process only has a few steps: fill in your name, address, birthdate, living situation (rent, own, live with family) and monthly payments, employment information, Social Security number and contact information. Your application will be given to Auto Credit Express' network of dealerships for approval.

Car dealer partners

It's important to note that, if your auto loan is approved, it can only be used to buy a car from one of their "authorized licensed car dealer partners". At the time of our review, there were more than 1,000 active dealerships nationwide in their network; you can click on the big purple box towards the bottom of the page and browse them to see if there are any in your area. It will be the dealership that gives you the funding, not Auto Credit Express, so your credit report will not be checked when you fill in the application on this site.

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Specialize in bad credit

This service specializes in auto loans for people with bad credit, so there are some basic eligibility requirements you'll need to meet if this applies to you:

  • At least 18 years old
  • Minimum gross monthly income of $1500 if your credit score is less than 625
  • No auto loan repossessions within the last year (unless they were included as part of a bankruptcy)
  • Completed 341 meeting of creditors if there's a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
  • Authorization to Incur Debt required from trustee for a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Helpful information

You can also check out some of the resources at the bottom of the Auto Credit Express site. There, you'll find a car loan estimator and details on how to get your free credit score, as well as information on loan options like $500 down, military financing, and more.

Smooth transactions

We were pretty impressed with the number of recent customer reviews saying that they had an excellent experience using this service to get the auto loan they needed. People frequently mentioned low down payments, fantastic customer service at the partner dealerships, and a smooth transaction overall.

Solid track record

While you may have to give up some options if you get your auto loan with Auto Credit Express (because of the requirement to get the funding through one of their partner dealerships), it might be a good idea to see what they come up with - especially if your credit history is a little shaky. This lending referral service has a solid track record with thousands of satisfied car shoppers, earning them a better-than-average rating among sources of auto loans.

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3 stars
LendingClub

LENDINGCLUB

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BBB Rating:

No Rating, accredited since 2008

LendingClub takes care of financing the purchase of a car through personal loans up to $40,000 - in other words, once you get the money, you can use it however you like. This peer-to-peer lending platform has served more than three million customers, with over $50 billion borrowed since LendingClub got its start in 2007.

Browse the resources

If taking out a loan is new to you, it's a good idea to browse the Resources link on the LendingClub site. There, you'll find articles on borrowing, debt, and many other relevant subjects; calculators to help you determine your credit utilization; plus, you'll even get some guidance regarding leasing vs. buying your car.

Getting started

Let's say you decide to go for it and apply for a personal loan for your vehicle purchase. First, you'll enter the purpose of your loan and enter the amount you plan to borrow. You won't find "buy a car" on the list, so you might want to select "Buy something special". From there, you'll be asked to indicate if you're including a co-applicant, your birthdate, individual income, name, address, and phone number.

Won't impact your credit score

That information won't impact your credit score, but you'll have to enter your Social Security number if the details you gave aren't enough for LendingClub to find your credit report. Once you've finished answering these questions, you'll be able to see the loans being offered (if any). If you choose one and complete the loan acceptance process, you could have the money deposited to your bank account in as little as four days.

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Transparent fee disclosures

In the past, LendingClub had been taken to task for not openly disclosing their fees and interest rates. We were glad to see that's no longer the case: you can easily find that information on their site. At the time of this review, for example, their rates ranged from 10.68% to 35.89% APR, with one-time origination fees between 2-4% of your total loan amount. But, we did see two different ranges for those origination fees: 2-4% at the top of the site, and 1-6% further down in the FAQ. All loans through LendingClub have terms of at least 36 months, and in some states you'll have minimum/maximum loan requirements.

Refinancing requirements

If the purpose of your auto loan is to refinance your current terms, you'll find some slight differences. First, there's no origination fee charged by LendingClub. Second, unlike a personal loan used for buying a car, a refinance loan has some extra requirements; you may be asked to send in documents about your car. Finally, your current loan has to meet their eligibility requirements. These include an outstanding balance of $5,000 to $50,000 with at least 24 payments remaining, on a car that is for personal use only, 10 years old or newer and under 120,000 miles.

Pending government action

LendingClub has a "No Rating" status with the Better Business Bureau. Although this financial service has accreditation from the BBB, a pending government action (related to LendingClub's previous issues with not openly disclosing fees) keeps the company from having an actual rating there. We also weren't thrilled to read through some of the hundreds of complaints filed with the BBB, many of which had legitimate concerns about payments not being recorded properly (and the subsequent negative impact on borrowers' credit scores), inaccurate payoff information being given by LendingClub representatives, and so on.

Many happy customers

However, when we looked beyond the BBB site - since people rarely go there to leave compliments, right? - we found not just thousands but tens of thousands of reviews from very happy clients. Some of those customers have used this platform multiple times for loans and appreciate getting funding when other personal and auto loan companies have turned them down.

Caution advised

We would advise some caution when using LendingClub for your auto financing. It seems like when everything goes as expected, they're a great service - but when there are problems, customers often have a hard time getting a quick, complete resolution. There are other sources of auto loans out there that work similarly to LendingClub, so you might want to look there first before committing to this company.

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Continued from above

Savvy consumers know that the best way to get truly competitive rates on auto loans is by comparison shopping with online lenders. Even if you're just starting the research process, it only takes a few minutes to find out how much you're qualified to borrow and with what loan terms. With that information in hand, perhaps with a preapproval letter too, you'll be much more confident walking into the dealership and negotiating the best possible deal on the car itself.

Some providers of auto loans specialize in helping customers with less-than-perfect credit. These lenders can work with you to get a loan that you can afford, and they take into account your whole financial picture - not just your low credit score, previous late payments, or a bankruptcy in your past. Of course, if your credit history is excellent, shopping around for your auto loan online will likely turn up dozens of offers to choose from.

It's important to carefully consider several criteria when evaluating different online lenders. These factors include the following:

  • Reputation. A seemingly-great auto loan is a bad deal if the lender isn't trustworthy. What does the Better Business Bureau say about the company? Have other car shoppers had a good experience?
  • Functionality. How easy does the auto loan site make the borrowing process, from information-gathering to funding? Can you work through the steps of securing your loan quickly and intuitively?
  • Options. To whom does the lender cater (e.g. people with good/bad credit? New/used car shoppers?)? Do you have a wide range of loans to choose from, both with respect to interest rates and length of the loan period? Are there any perks or penalties in the fine print?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best auto loan providers available today. We hope this information helps you get the right financing for your next vehicle purchase or refinance!

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