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      October 24, 2020

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My Auto Loan vs Instant Car Loan

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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 Instant Car Loan.

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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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1 star
Instant Car Loan

INSTANT CAR LOAN

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BBB Rating:

D-, not accredited

Instant Car Loan promises that you can request a car loan in seconds. In operation for more than 10 years, this auto loan referral service encourages customers of all credit types to apply, having worked with thousands of people who didn't have perfect credit histories.

Not so instant

To see if you qualify for an auto loan through Instant Car Loan, you start by entering your name, zip code and email address. In step two, you'll have to provide your detailed information: SSN, employer name and gross monthly income, and so on. Your application will be shared with up to five partner lenders, and those partners might run a credit report before contacting you. Instant Car Loan isn't so "instant": they don't fund anything themselves, but rather connect you with their network of auto loan providers.

Serious concerns

However, because of some serious concerns we had with this site, you may not feel comfortable going through the whole process of applying for an auto loan. Why? Here's what we found.

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D- rating

Would you entrust your finances to a lender whose parent company is called "Internet Brands"? That's who owns Instant Car Loan - along with Cars Direct, Groove Job, and several other businesses. Sure, that in itself might not be so bad, but when you consider that Internet Brands has a "D-" rating from the Better Business Bureau, it becomes obvious that you won't want to give this auto loan provider access to your personal information.

Is anyone there?

We came across one customer comment from over a year ago, asking if anyone is actually managing this business. No one ever responded. Plus, the Instant Car Loan site proudly claims an "A+' rating with the BBB: that is definitely not the case.

Cannot recommend

With all that said, we just don't feel that Instant Car Loan is a trustworthy source of funding for your auto loan. We cannot recommend strongly enough that you work with one of the higher-ranked lenders in our review.

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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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