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      November 24, 2020

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Credible vs LendingTree

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

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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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4 stars
Lending Tree

LENDINGTREE

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BBB Rating:

A+, accredited since 2019

LendingTree is an online loan marketplace for all kinds of borrowing needs: small business loans, credit cards, auto loans and more. They're also considered a pioneer in the peer-to-peer lending industry, having started matching borrowers and investor-lenders back in 1998 as an alternative to bank-only financing.

Multiple loan offers

When you apply for an auto loan using the LendingTree service, your application is used to generate multiple offers from numerous lenders in their network. LendingTree doesn't spell out how many partners they use - possibly because those relationships are constantly expanding - but we were able to find a long list in their Automotive Lender Reviews section. We love that you can read detailed information, ratings and customer feedback on all of them before you even fill out the online form.

Auto loan providers

Here's a sampling of the auto loan providers you could be matched with:

  • RefiJet
  • Capital One Auto Finance
  • Auto Approve
  • iLendingDirect
  • rateGenius
  • Gravity Lending
  • AUTOPAY
  • LightStream
  • Southeast Financial
  • Tresl

Both buying and refinancing

You've got options for both buying and refinancing a vehicle with LendingTree. You'll have to click on "More Loan Options" to get to the link specific to Auto Loans, and that's where you'll specify if it's a purchase, refinance or lease buy-out. Next, select your preferred loan term (1-7 years). Enter any down payment you'll be making (and, by the way, LendingTree says you'll get a better offer if you do!) and your requested loan amount. You're also asked to provide a tentative idea of the make of the vehicle you're buying, so that you can have manufacturer-specific financing offers too - but you're not locked into it.

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Standard information

The rest of the information is standard: your income, housing situation, address, and just the last four digits of your SSN to verify your identity before getting your list of loan offers.

Compare each loan offer

Once you have the offers in hand, you'll have to compare each auto loan and decide which lender and terms are the best fit. You're under no obligation to choose any of them, and if you allow more than 30 days to pass without selecting one, you'll have to apply again.

Fees and interest rates vary by lender

What about fees and APRs? Because those can vary so widely across LendingTree's partners, they only offer a frequently-updated average so that you can get a general idea. At the time of this review, their clients were seeing rates as low as 3.49% APR on a loan of $20,000 with a three-year term. Those clients usually had a credit score of at least 700, had no down payment, and were charged origination fees up to $100. If you'd like to see the most recent numbers, you'll find those on LendingTree's Disclosures page.

Thousands of 5-star reviews

This loan referral platform is "A+" rated and accredited with the Better Business Bureau, and the company has garnered thousands of five-star reviews from people who've successfully used it to get funding for various purposes. We found very recent comments from clients who got their auto loans through LendingTree and said that not only did they get the lowest rates, they also had their funds deposited the next day.

Few complaints

The only complaints we found described getting too many phone calls, texts and emails from lenders. That seems to be the case with most similar services - after all, you're providing your contact information so that lenders can contact you, and unfortunately they can sometimes be quite persistent.

More success with good credit

It's also important to point out that most LendingTree clients who wind up with funded loans tend to have higher-than-average credit scores. That doesn't mean you shouldn't try and get matched with an auto loan provider here if your credit history isn't the best, but keep in mind that you might need to work with one of the lending services in our review that specifically helps people in your situation.

One of the best

LendingTree is one of the industry's best options if you want competing offers on your auto loan. They give you lots of insight into the lenders in their network, and they make it a breeze to find multiple options with just one online form. All of these reasons have kept LendingTree towards the top of our rankings among providers of car financing.

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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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