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      September 24, 2020

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My Auto Loan vs CARCHEX

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

3.5 stars
My Auto Loan

MY AUTO LOAN

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BBB Rating:

A+, accredited since 2003

My Auto Loan is a surprisingly good option for getting vehicle financing. Operated by Horizon Digital Finance, this service connects people who need to get or refinance an auto loan with up to four different vetted lenders in their network. Their online form only takes two minutes to complete, and you can get your funding within 24 hours - use it to go buy your car or pay off your current loan, the choice is yours.

Eligibility requirements

We had to do a little bit of digging to find My Auto Loan's eligibility requirements for their loan application. These apply only to their initial inquiry form; their partner lenders likely have further criteria that you'll need to meet. The guidelines include the following:

  • At least 18 years old
  • Minimum gross yearly income of $21,000 for a new auto loan; $18,000 for a refinance loan
  • Not a resident of Alaska or Hawaii
  • Vehicle must be 10 years old or newer, with fewer than 125,000 miles
  • Minimum loan amount of $8000 for a new car, $5000 for a refinance
  • FICO score of 575+

Helpful resources

There are some helpful resources on the main page, like an interest rate chart for the day's lowest APRs, an interest rate estimator based on your self-reported credit score, and a payment calculator. Those can give you a better idea of what the outcome will be when you move to the application process.

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Filling out the application

To get started, choose what kind of loan offer you need: new, used, refinance, private party sale, or lease buyout. From there, you'll fill in the standard details about yourself, your employment, and how much you're looking to borrow. You'll also have to provide specifics about the vehicle you're looking to buy, including the total estimated sales price, the requested term of the loan (24-84 months), and any cash down payment. Finally, you'll have to give My Auto Loan your Social Security number and date of birth to complete the pre-qualification application.

Quick turnaround

While most people get a list of loan offers right away, some lenders may need extra time to verify the information provided in the application. You'll be notified if that's the case. Otherwise, you could have several offers to choose from immediately, and the lender you ultimately select may be able to get your funds deposited within one business day.

Hundreds of satisfied customer reviews

My Auto Loan doesn't have as much customer feedback as some of their competitors, but everything we found is positive. The company has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau since 2003, with an "A+" rating there. We also found hundreds of five-star reviews from people who used this service to get their auto loan funded.

More transparency please

Where this service comes up a little short, especially when considering similar lender referral platforms, is transparency. Which four lenders do they use in their network? What are the average interest rates and fees? These are the kinds of questions that most of their rivals answer, so that prospective clients know what to expect from the beginning. My Auto Loan could perform higher in our rankings if they made that information readily available on their site.

Solid option

Those details are important because the complaints that we did find about this lending service are usually related to high interest rates, even for borrowers with very high credit scores. Everything else about using My Auto Loan is solid, from quick funding to honest customer service reps. Since there's no ding to your credit score, you might want to apply with My Auto Loan and compare your offers with one of the higher-ranked lending partners in our review.

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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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