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      September 24, 2020

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Credible vs CARCHEX

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

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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

4.5 stars
Credible

CREDIBLE

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BBB Rating:

A+, accredited since 2015

You shouldn't have to fill out dozens of online applications to get an auto loan, right? Credible agrees with you: with just one form, you can apply with ten different lenders to see how much you can borrow and at what rates.

Nearly 10 years

For nearly ten years, this service has helped borrowers get the money they need for buying a car, paying off credit card debt, and many other purposes. In other words, Credible connects you with sources of personal loans, which you can then use to purchase your next vehicle.

10 lenders in network

If you're curious, these are the ten lenders in the Credible network:

  • Avant
  • Axos Bank
  • LendingPoint
  • LightStream
  • Marcus
  • Payoff
  • Prosper
  • SoFi
  • Upgrade
  • Upstart (our #1 pick for auto loans)

Loans from $1,000 to $100,000

Each of those services has different criteria for approving your auto loan, and some may only work with clients looking to consolidate debt or who have good-to-excellent credit. The good news is that Credible does all of that determination for you, and your application is only matched with lenders willing to work with you and your situation. Across that network, loan amounts range from $1,000 to $100,000, with interest rates typically between 5.99% APR and 35.99% APR.

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Soft pull of your credit

To get started, you'll complete Credible's online form with your educational background, employment status, contact information and Social Security number, so that a "soft pull" of your credit can be run. This will not affect your credit score. You'll then get a results list of the lenders who are tentatively offering you vehicle financing, pending your completed application with them and acceptance of your loan terms.

Best Rate guarantee

A nice benefit offered by Credible is their Best Rate Guarantee. Should you happen to find a better rate with a lender elsewhere and actually close on that loan, you might qualify for a payment of up to $200! You should read the Learn More pop-out on the Credible site if this applies to you; there are some criteria that determine your eligibility, such as turning in your request within a week of closing on your auto loan.

Customer compliments

Credible gets high marks all around. Not only do they continue to have an "A+" rating and accreditation from the BBB, but their customer reviews tell a similar story. Out of nearly 4,000 client ratings, Credible had an average of 4.7 out of 5 stars. Users say that the platform delivers what it promises: a fast, easy way to compare loan offers from multiple lenders at once, and a good borrowing experience once the loans are funded with the partner companies. Any complaints we found tend to be directed towards the lender itself and not about the reliability or usefulness of the Credible service.

Strong choice

The biggest drawback of using Credible for your auto loan is the obvious one: you'll still have to complete the actual borrowing process with another company, once you've been connected via your Credible account. This platform can still save you time and hassle with a one-stop application that is routed to several lenders, so it's worth considering for your auto loan. Just remember that any loan terms, rates and fees will depend solely on the lending partners, so you'll still need to do some research once you've been matched with them.

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3.5 stars
CARCHEX

CARCHEX

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BBB Rating:

A+, accredited since 2009

You've probably heard of CARCHEX as a source of vehicle protection plans, inspections, and even roadside assistance coverage. They also offer auto loans as a referral service, taking your application and passing it along to different lenders to give you financing.

Exceptional reputation

CARCHEX overall has an exceptional reputation, shown by their "A+" rating and more than 10 years of accreditation with the Better Business Bureau. They bring a strong service to compete for your business – if you're looking to refinance your existing auto loan.

Some confusion

You may get a little confused when starting on their Auto Finance page. It appears that both new loans and refinance loans are available with CARCHEX – in fact, they quote low rates for New Autos, Used Autos, and Refinance loans. Further down the page, they list some good points for obtaining a loan for a new or used car before you buy.

Refinance loans only

However, their loan application deals strictly with refinance loans. When filling out the online application, you need to provide the VIN number for the car you're interested in – which you wouldn't have if you were seeking a pre-approval. Also, they ask you to Select your Loan Type on the application, but they only give you one option – refinancing your current vehicle. In fact, they even refer to their online loan form as their "auto refi application".

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Nearly 100 lenders

Putting that aside, how does CARCHEX stack up when it comes to refinancing your auto loan? They actually do pretty well. After submitting your loan application, CARCHEX scours their database of nearly 100 lenders to find the best programs for your specific criteria. Within minutes, you'll be contacted with quotes from up to 4 different lenders. And if you have bad credit, it's not a problem – they have both prime and subprime lenders in their network.

No obligation

Once you've received your loan offers, you'll need to compare the offers yourself and follow up with the lenders and loan offers that you like the best. The CARCHEX service is free, and you're not under any obligation to pursue any of the loan offers if you don't like them.

Can't predict your loan rate

What type of fees and loan rates can you expect? Since CARCHEX deals with so many different lenders, and accepts applications from all different credit types, it's impossible for them to give an expected rate until you apply yourself. At the time of our review, they posted rates as low as 1/99% for new, used, and refinance loans, but these rates may only apply to select borrowers with the highest of credit ratings.

Who are the lenders?

We tried to find a list of the lenders that CARCHEX works with, but came up empty. In this age of increasing identity theft, many customers hesitate to put their personal information out into the void (especially their SSN) without knowing anything about where it's going. We wish CARCHEX was a little more transparent about who they're working with.

Wealth of information

You will find a wealth of information on the site about how auto refinancing works, whether it affects your credit rating, and many other related topics. These are good resources to browse whether you decide to obtain a loan through CARCHEX or not.

Good choice for refinance-only loans

CARCHEX provides a strong peer-to-peer lending platform for auto refinance loans. We do wish they were a little more forthcoming on who their lending partners are. Also, if you're looking for a new or used car loan, you won't find it here. Still, if you're just looking to refinancing an existing car loan, CARCHEX has a solid reputation and provides a good service, for free.

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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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