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With interest rates dropping like crazy, you're smart to think you might be able to save some money with a new loan. Whether you choose to keep your monthly payments the same and shorten your loan term or lower your payments and spend your cash on other necessities, it's almost a guarantee that refinancing will be a good decision.
In the past, most people would go to their bank or credit union to get a car loan refi. After all, it's comfortable, familiar, and easy to set up with checking or bank accounts that are already established there. But, that's not the best idea if you want the nation's top rates and terms for car loan refinancing. Your hometown bank doesn't need to compete with other lenders for your business: they already have it!
Friday, September 29th
There are plenty of referral services out there that want to help you get refinancing for your car loan, but LendingTree tops them all. As part of a brand family that includes Student Loan Hero and Ovation Credit Services, this company offers the easiest way to access all types of funding - especially when looking for a new loan on your car.
Huge network of reliable lenders
One of the reasons LendingTree regularly winds up at the top of our rankings is because of their vast database of lenders and the amount of information provided upfront about each one. You don't have to submit a single piece of personal data to see what LendingTree has in your area: just enter your loan amount and estimated credit score, and don't forget to change the location if it doesn't default to where you live. From there, you can choose the loan term that interests you (ours had options from 36-72 months) and get preliminary quotes from specific lenders.
Most transparent lending option
Better yet, there's no mystery as to which lenders could be funding your refinance loan - or what other customers have to say about them. It's beyond easy to get a quick feel for the reviews and highlights of any financial institution LendingTree uses, and detailed information is just a click away. Trust us when we say you won't find that kind of transparency with any other source of auto refinancing loans in our review!
Provide info to verify identity
To move forward with the car loan refinancing process at LendingTree, you can either click on the "See if you qualify" button from a lender in your quote list, or you can use the three white buttons at the top of the refi page to compare lenders or rates (pro tip: all three buttons take you to the same form, from what we could tell). You'll choose your desired loan term, from 1-7 years, the make and model of your car and estimated mileage, plus the interest rate/payoff amount/monthly payment on your current loan. You'll then move on to personal details, such as your birthdate, employment status and yearly income, liquid assets, and then your name and email address to create a LendingTree account. The questions aren't over yet: you still have to put in your address and how long you've lived there, and the last four digits of your SSN for identity verification.
Could be a hard pull on your credit
That's the only downside we found when using LendingTree: the fine print on that page says that their partner lenders might use that information to do a hard pull on your credit report, while other providers of auto refinancing make sure that it's only a soft pull until you actually choose a loan offer to apply for. Those partners may also contact you enthusiastically and repeatedly once you're in their database, if client feedback is any indication.
Wider options, fantastic reputation
However, there are still plenty of reasons to love this company. LendingTree had some cars covered that we didn't find with other lenders, like Hummer, Saab and Isuzu, as well as luxury makes like Maserati and Lamborghini. Better yet, you won't find many places to refinance your car loan that have the sheer quantity of five-star customer reviews that LendingTree has. Not only does the BBB give this service an "A+" rating and accreditation, but we found more than 7,600 perfect scores elsewhere given by happy clients across LendingTree's spectrum of products.
Your best option for car loan refinancing
Refinancing your car loan shouldn't be a mystery game where you pull the lever and hope that you come out with rates and terms you like from a lender you can trust. LendingTree puts all of the power in your hands, with transparency from the get-go and the ability to choose any lender that meets your expectations - not just the one that would give them a higher profit. You can trust that you'll get the best possible auto refinancing if you use LendingTree, and we're glad to give the company our highest recommendation.
Upstart isn't like most lending platforms. They actively work "to help everyday people unlock mobility and opportunity through affordable credit" . How? By considering not just your credit score but also your educational background and overall earning potential when deciding whether or not to offer you an auto refinancing loan. More than 1,400,000 people have used Upstart to get the money they need, not just for vehicles but also for personal loans.
In order to apply for a refinancing loan, you'll provide the standard information of your name, birthdate, address, and an email address/password to create an account. From there, Upstart is a little different: you'll also give them details about your educational background, like your highest level of study and any applicable school name, graduation year, and area of study. Although educational information is collected as part of Upstart's rate check process, neither Upstart nor its bank partners have a minimum educational attainment requirement in order to be eligible for a loan. We appreciate this holistic approach to lending, as well as the fact that Upstart doesn't ask for a Social Security Number to verify an applicant's identity.
No SSN required for initial loan application
Upstart will attempt to match your information with your credit report as a "soft pull" ; if they can't match it, they'll then ask for your Social Security Number (a nice change from other lenders who ask for your SSN upfront without trying to verify your identity without it first). The initial (soft) inquiry will not affect your credit score. If you accept your rate and proceed with your application, they do another (hard) credit inquiry that will impact your credit score. If you take out a loan, repayment information will be reported to the credit bureaus. Of course, this is true whenever you take out a loan, regardless who it's from.
A few states not included
Looking through the fine print at the bottom of the Upstart page for auto refinancing loans, we learned that borrowers in Iowa, Maryland, Nevada and West Virginia aren't eligible for their service.
Customers love Upstart
Upstart has lots of positive feedback when it comes to customer satisfaction. This service gets praise for being hassle-free and easy to understand. It's hard to argue with that!
Good, risk-free way to get a refi loan quote
Because Upstart has a fresh approach to auto refinancing, and you can get a quote without having to provide your Social Security Number, we encourage you to give them a try for your car refinance loan. It's risk-free to complete their online application, and if you accept their offer you'll likely love their service. Upstart earns very high marks when it comes to refinancing your car loan.
LendingClub has gone through some changes in recent years: while they used to be a peer-to-peer borrowing and investment platform, essentially crowdfunding all types of loans, they are now structured more like a typical financial institution and fund all loans on their own. That's worth knowing, because you may find wording as you browse the site that still makes reference to "lenders" or "lending networks" . (At the time of this review, their main article explaining auto refinancing hadn't been updated to reflect the new structure, for example.) You'll have a more streamlined borrowing experience now, but don't expect to get multiple offers for your refi loan.
Watch out for excluded states and vehicles
We also had to read the fine print to learn that LendingClub doesn't offer auto refinancing across the board. Their loans are only available in 35 states; notable in the list of exclusions are New York, Colorado, and DC. There are also several vehicle makes that won't be eligible for a refi loan here, including Hummer, Saab, Suzuki and Nissan Leaf, as well as any domestic truck designated as a "3500" or with a payload capacity of a ton or more.
No SSN required to get refi loan quotes
To get a refi quote, you'll start by choosing your primary goal: getting the lowest possible monthly payment or lowering your interest rate. (You can also choose "just curious" .) When we chose the latter, we were taken to a surprisingly-simple quote application: no Social Security Number required, just our name, address, phone number, birthdate, and annual individual income. Unfortunately, we were given an unexplained error page when we applied and got no quotes for our auto refinance loan rate. That may be due to the fact that we opted for the "just curious" setting; you may need to play with the settings to get a quote specific to your car loan and borrowing goals.
Lots of positive recent feedback from clients
How about LendingClub's reputation? Their restructuring led to a change in their rating from the Better Business Bureau, from "A" to "Not Rated" , in order to give the BBB time to gather more feedback before evaluating the new-and-improved service. Looking at the most recent reviews from clients using LendingClub for a variety of loan types, we were pleased to see that the vast majority give the company a rating of 4 or 5 stars. While most of them made no reference specifically to auto refinancing, it's encouraging to see repeat borrowers among the reviews.
Worth considering for car refinancing
Is LendingClub a good choice for auto refinancing loans? Maybe. They'll need to keep expanding the states where they offer financing if they want to compete with other lenders, because too many potential customers are excluded by their 35-state service area. And, the jury's still out as far as the BBB listing goes, waiting to be updated after the company's move away from peer-to-peer funding. But, we wouldn't be surprised to see LendingClub move up in our rankings in the future, based on the ample positive, recent feedback from people who have used them to get loans.
Open Road Lending is headquartered in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and has helped thousands of people save more than $100/month, on average, through refinancing their car loans.
More mileage, but cars need to be newer here
With respect to the eligibility of your car, Open Road Lending comes in both better and worse than their competition. How? If you've got a car with high mileage, many lenders won't give you a refi if you have 120,000 or more - but Open Road Lending extends that to 140,000. On the other hand, where most lenders can refinance your loan if your car is 10 years old or newer, this service only covers vehicles that are 8 years old or newer. You win some, you lose some.
More makes included - but zilch if you're self-employed
Another way that Open Road Lending will be ideal for some and less so for others: they cover a wider range of vehicle makes and models, excluding only Oldsmobile, Daewoo, Isuzu and Smart Cars, as well as vehicles that are no longer being manufactured and trucks larger than 3/4 ton. Great! But, a huge exclusion here that we didn't see elsewhere is that this company won't offer refinancing if you're self-employed, according to their FAQ. With so many people freelancing, taking on gig work, or owning their own companies, we're baffled as to why a lender would refuse to work with an otherwise strong applicant that isn't a W2 wage/salary employee.
Mixed results according to clients
When we looked into what customers say about the experience of refinancing a car loan through Open Road Lending, it seemed to be feast or famine, so to speak: you'll either get a seamless loan process and save tons of money on your car payments, or you'll have one frustration after another with paperwork and it'll take forever to get your refi completed. The company has an "A+" rating and accreditation from the BBB at least, which is some reassurance that issues are being handled - eventually.
Don't be surprised by contact from third parties
Some customers had issues because they didn't realize that Open Road Lending is a referral service, passing customers along to lenders in their network. These clients often mistook communications from the lending institution as a scam or unsolicited contact, which delayed their refi process. To be fair, the company doesn't come out and list which financial institutions they use or even that borrowers should expect such contact from lenders they've never heard of: everything on the Open Road Lending site makes it sound like they're the only company you'll hear from in the refinancing process.
Could be better, could be worse
Open Road Lending is good, but not great. We're encouraged by many of their positive customer reviews, but the hit-or-miss nature of their eligibility requirements and the paperwork glitches when loans are handed off to lenders prevents this platform from earning a higher rating from us. It could be a decent option but falls short of the more reliable sources of car loan refinancing in our review.
SuperMoney is a financial comparison shopping platform, for products ranging from personal loans to auto refinancing. Since its start in 2013, SuperMoney has worked with over a million people, offering transparency and objective information to help them make wiser decisions with their money. The company has been featured in several well-known publications, such as Forbes, Yahoo! Finance and Business Insider.
Notable commitment to client privacy
There are a lot of auto refi loan referral platforms out there. Is there any reason you should choose SuperMoney over their rivals? One aspect we appreciate about this service is their commitment to your privacy. Some providers pass your information along to an undisclosed number of third-party companies, which winds up with an overwhelming quantity of phone calls, texts, and emails that you probably don't want. SuperMoney is different: their site integrates directly with their lending partners, resulting in refi loan offers on your dashboard without the pressure of endless unwanted contacts from companies you've never heard of.
SSN required to get refi loan quotes
In order to use SuperMoney for your auto refinancing, you'll enter the usual details: about yourself, your vehicle, and your financial situation (e.g. employment, mortgage or rent, etc.). You'll have to provide accurate information, including your Social Security Number, in order for SuperMoney to verify your identity and match you with lenders in their network - but they reassure prospective clients that this will only result in a soft pull of your credit report, which won't affect your score.
Needs more info about lending network for refinancing
Once you've been verified, you'll get a list of any available refi loan offers from SuperMoney's partners. We would have liked to see more details about which lenders are in their network: for example, when using this service for personal loans, it's easy to see that there are just over a dozen financial institutions they work with and to get additional information about each one - without even filling out a loan application. It would help SuperMoney rank higher in our evaluation if they provided similar transparency with respect to car loan refinancing.
Extra hoops to jump through?
That's important because you'll have to finish your refi application directly with the SuperMoney lending partner you ultimately select. This adds several extra steps to the loan process, compared with services that can get you funded immediately based on your initial application: you may feel like you're doing everything twice when using this referral platform.
Despite being in business for almost 10 years, there isn't a lot of feedback to be found from clients who have used SuperMoney. We couldn't find a listing with the Better Business Bureau, and we only turned up about 200 reviews elsewhere. We were happy to see that, among those ratings, more than 95% of them gave SuperMoney a perfect five-star review. That's a good start, but we'd need to see quite a bit more to move this service higher in our own rankings among auto refinancing options.
RefiJet is one of the newer sources of auto refinance loans in our review, launching in 2016 as a referral platform for borrowers of all credit profiles. Car refinancing is the only product they offer, connecting you with several different financial institutions to get a new loan.
Quotes available without providing SSN first
Until you fill out a quote request, you won't find many details about the auto refinancing options through RefiJet: just their currently lowest available APR interest rate (not the best we've seen, not the worst) and that your car has to be newer than 10 years old and have under 150,000 miles. Fortunately, the quote form doesn't require your Social Security Number, so you won't have any impact on your credit report: just enter your name, DOB, and address and click on all of the consent boxes.
Have to wait for rep contact to get quotes
We were disappointed that RefiJet's quote process doesn't immediately provide auto refinancing options. Instead, you get a message saying that a representative will get back to you. We're not sure how long, exactly, you'll wait - but it's definitely not going to be right away that you get a quote on your car loan refi. More than two hours after submitting our request, we still had no response via email.
Lackluster customer service
RefiJet's track record is mixed. An "A+" rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau is a good start, and we found several evaluations from experts in auto finance that would recommend using this company for a refinance loan. On the other hand, we found complaints from customers that gave us pause. Some said that RefiJet reps botched their paperwork and left their initial loan unpaid. Others described "extras" tacked onto their car loan that weren't necessary - and they couldn't get them removed. The most common complaints were about RefiJet's customer service, or lack thereof.
Look at other options first
It's nice to have a company that specializes in car loan refinancing, and RefiJet must be doing something right to earn an "A+ from the BBB. You could have a decent experience if you choose to get your car refinanced here, but frankly we'd suggest trying a higher-ranked service first.
My Auto Loan is a subsidiary of Horizon Digital Finance, which has been in operation since 2003. They offer direct-to-consumer internet-based financing for cars and motorcycles, matching borrowers with loan offers from up to four lenders in their network.
General eligibility requirements
While specific requirements vary by lender, My Auto Loan establishes some general criteria to qualify for an auto refinance loan. Your vehicle needs to be 10 years old or newer and have less than 125,000 miles. Your loan must be at least $5,000, and you have to have a gross yearly income of at least $18,000. Your FICO score must be 575 or higher, and you can't be a resident of Alaska or Hawaii.
Pay your original loan off on your own
My Auto Loan works a little differently from many of the auto refi loan providers we evaluated: instead of working with your current and new lender to pay off your original loan and start a new one, you'll get a check or "online certificate" (they aren't very clear on that part). You then pay off your old loan yourself.
Expect hard pulls on your credit report
Despite a solid "A+" rating and accreditation from the BBB, we hesitate to give My Auto Loan a strong recommendation for car loan refinancing. Why? We found quite a few complaints from customers who used the service to shop for loans and wound up with multiple hard pulls on their credit report. Yes, the site discloses that that's a possibility - but most services will only do a soft pull until you actually choose a lender and complete a full loan application. People also said that they were inundated with calls, emails and texts from lenders that wound up offering loans with rates much higher than what was initially advertised.
Some customers report good experiences
On the other hand, we found hundreds of 4- and 5-star reviews from clients who successfully used My Auto Loan to refinance their car, praising the experience for being easy from start to finish and getting them a much lower interest rate than what they had been paying.
Better refi loan referral resources out there
At the end of the day, My Auto Loan offers a service that's comparable to most car loan refinance referral platforms: compare offers from several lenders and choose the one that meets your needs. And, unlike some of their rivals, My Auto Loan doesn't charge any fees for connecting you with lenders. But, there are other services that work with the same lenders as the ones in My Auto Loan's network (or even more), and you're less likely to get a hard pull on your credit that will negatively impact your score. If you want multiple options for your car loan refinance, you may want to try a higher-rated referral service first.
MotoRefi is based in Denver and focuses strictly on refinancing for car loans. Their funding comes through "partnerships with top local and community lenders" , saving customers an average of $100 on monthly car payments.
Unclear eligibility requirements
We had a challenging time figuring out which vehicles were eligible for financing through MotoRefi. While their FAQ states that they work with all cars and trucks, there were several we didn't spot in their dropdown list of make/model in the quote application (i.e. the same exclusions openly listed by their rivals, such as Hummer and Saab).
Can get quotes without entering SSN
The rest of the process was straightforward. You can enter your car's VIN or your license plate number, or use the make/model/trim, to allow MotoRefi to approximate the value of your vehicle. You'll also provide your loan payoff amount and estimated monthly payment, your address and basic employment details. We were happy that this service doesn't require entering a Social Security Number for identity verification.
Very competitive rates and terms offered initially
We were given quite a few attractive options for our auto refinancing loan. Terms ranged from 36-84 months, and interest rates were very competitive with other lenders. If we wanted to go with one of the loans offered, at that point we would have to create an account and enter our SSN to finalize the application and have a hard credit pull.
Charges a costly one-time fee
When working with MotoRefi, you can expect a $399 fee to be included in your loan amount. That's payable to MotoRefi, not your lender, for the costs of document processing and retitling. Very few lenders we evaluated charge a fee for their referral service: this is a big factor in MotoRefi's last-place ranking among providers of auto refinancing.
BBB rating discrepancy
We were glad to see the graphic on MotoRefi's page showing an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau. But, when we went directly to the BBB, it turned out that the company actually had an "A-" because of a small number of (resolved) complaints registered there. We get that it can be challenging to keep a website updated with something small like a BBB graphic, but it left us feeling a little less-than-impressed.
No easy-access disclosure of lending partners
There were also no details offered about MotoRefi's lender network. Who, exactly, would be funding our auto refinancing loan? Is it a lender we could trust? Where most referral platforms give you some idea of who they work with, either during the application process or openly listed on their website, MotoRefi is glaringly silent in that regard.
Company needs more transparency
Their low APR interest rates are extremely appealing (if you qualify), and that makes it hard to walk away from MotoRefi for car loan refinancing. However, we need more than an enticing rate to get us to commit to a provider that doesn't offer much information about how, exactly, those low rates are going to come about. And, with a hefty servicing fee of almost $400, MotoRefi eats into any savings we might be getting with a lower interest rate. Until this company gets more transparent with the details of their car loan refinancing program, we recommend you choose a different provider.
Money-wise consumers look to the internet for the best deals, and car loan refinancing is no different. There's no need to accept the first loan offer you see if you can get quotes from several financial institutions at once. Most online lenders have rates and terms that will easily beat anything you find locally, with all the convenience of a completely-online application and approval process. Save money while sipping coffee at home in your pajamas? Why not!
Looking at the available options for car loan refinancing online, it can be hard to tell different lenders apart. Which one should you use, not just to get an initial rate quote but ultimately to finalize your new loan? Here are several ways you can evaluate each choice to find the car loan refinancing that's right for you:
TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the best providers of car loan refinancing available today. We're confident that this information will help you get the rates and terms you're looking for to save money on your car payments!
If you're looking to refinance a car loan you'll find it's much easier to execute than in years past. Fortunately, car owners in 2021 have the option to go online to refinance a car loan. Even more, the online process makes it much easier than shopping in person. For those looking to refinance to perhaps lower their payment or even take advantage of a better interest rate, online car refinance can be as simple as a few clicks.
Benefiting from the Advantages of Online Car Loan Refinancing
Aside from preventing the hassle of finding a local finance company, driving there and finding a place to park, the online process offers conveniences that many people prefer. You simply input your personal data and car information to find a lender - no need to divulge your details to anyone, and it takes only a few minutes.
Avoiding Dings on Your Credit Report
Until you find the lender you want to work with you, nothing affects your credit score. With the information that you provide on your credit rating, a lender knows what to expect from your report. For example, each lender who offers refinancing for your car loan shows you a rate online, and you can accept it or keep shopping. True, your lender may inquire about your credit report to approve you at the beginning of your application, but it does not affect your score until you actually apply for a car loan.
The privacy that shopping online affords you lets you protect your credit rating. A personal visit to a local lender potentially means a ding on your report. When you go to a banks local office, it becomes clear that you want to decide on the spot what you plan to do. You can avoid getting pushed into a decision too early in the process by checking various offers online without agreeing to proceed with anything.
Your access to online refinancing for your car loan gives you an advantage that you do not have in a face-to-face meeting with a lender. When you can see the offers that refinance lenders make online, you can pick the one you like the best. Whereas at a bank or finance office, you may feel required to make an important financial decision immediately.
Without a friend or relative to discuss the decision with you, the chance of accepting an offer too soon increases. In the quiet of your home, you have time to think about it and talk it over. Rushing into a deal you live with for years when you visit a loan company's office rarely provides the best outcome. Online shopping lets you choose an option your most comfortable with.
Busy schedules make it challenging to meet appointments, frequently wasting time when almost no one has the time to spare. When you shop for your car loan online, you can do it at the most convenient time of the day or night. Even better, it does not require an appointment. You can start or stop searching at any time, and you can apply as often as you like.
Getting the Best Deal
When shopping online to refinance your current car loan, many people do not realize they'll find a better interest rate than at a local credit union or bank. Without the expense of overhead costs of physical branches, lenders can afford to offer better rates. You can benefit from the difference between companies with low operating costs and banks with branches in many locations. When your lender has fewer expenses, it makes money available to attract customers like you. Online refinance gives you opportunities that do not happen otherwise.
Your chance of approval improves with online refinancing too. Traditional lending institutions tend to rely on your FICO score as proof of your creditworthiness. When you have a good or better score, they make it easy to get a loan. Online lenders take a more reasonable approach and may approve a lower score. In addition, they can look at many other things in your financial history that make you a good candidate that they can trust, such as regular payments of utility bills.
Taking Advantage of Available Options
Knowing that you can refinance your car loan puts you at an advantage financially. Industry experts say that less than half of people who buy motor vehicles know they refinancing is an option. In addition, only a small percentage of car buyers ever use refinancing. For those that are looking for ways to make ends meet, car loan refinancing can provide an excellent option to reduce monthly car loan expenses.
Choosing an Online Unsecured Loan
In the world of online finance, you can find loans that do not require any collateral to qualify for approval. Most online loans fit into the unsecured category, and it works for your benefit. Instead of borrowing against your assets, you have another option borrow. Lenders count on you to repay the money you borrow, but failure does not let them repossess your car. Whether you have assets that can secure a loan or not, you do not need them when you go online to refinance your vehicle. Of course, the consequences of failure exist as a practice that does not help you in the long run.
Uploading Minimal Documentation
When you choose an online lender, you can expect to provide some paperwork as part of an application. A few minutes of locating and uploading necessary documents seems much better than handing your private papers to someone in an office.
Getting Approval Faster
A quick approval is another reason that many prefer shopping and securing refinance loans online. When you apply electronically instead of personally, you can complete an application in a few minutes. Lenders who approve you ahead of time can respond immediately instead of making you wait to receive a letter in the mail. You most likely need the money when you ask for it, and online refinance lenders respond promptly to your application.
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