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Caribou Review

Thursday, May 30th

2024 Car Loan Refinance Reviews

Caribou Review 4 Star Rating

Caribou

4 Star Rating
  • Fully online process for refinancing car loans
  • Works with a network of lending partners
  • Available to residents of most states (excluding MD, MS, NE, NV, WV)
  • Loan terms may include a processing fee of $399 to $499
  • Formerly known as MotoRefi
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • Hundreds of five-star reviews from clients

Caribou, the recent rebrand of MotoRefi, is a matching service that specializes in auto loan refinancing. Their lending network includes partners like GreenState Credit Union and Beneficial State Bank, and Caribou's team works hard to find you a loan with the right rates and terms from among those institutions and many others. Caribou will proudly tell you that their customers have saved an average of $115/month on their car payments by refinancing there.

Lenders may pass along a processing fee

One thing to watch out for with Caribou: they charge their lenders a $399 to $499 processing fee...and the lenders have the option to pass those costs along to you in the amount you'll pay for your car loan refinancing. But, true to their promise of having no hidden fees, Caribou discloses that very clearly on their main auto loan refinancing page: just hover over the question mark and you'll see it spelled out in black and white.

Not as upfront as we'd like with eligibility requirements

Another minor issue we have with Caribou is that they don't come out and tell you what the eligibility requirements are for their car loan refinancing options. For example, we had to dig through a lot of fine print to learn that the company doesn't offer refi loans to residents of MD, MS, NE, NV, or WV. And, maybe the reason they don't say more than that is because they genuinely welcome applicants across the credit spectrum and want them to go ahead and fill out the initial inquiry. Still, if that's the reason for not being a little more specific in advance, it would be helpful if they said so.

Prequalification process is easy and quick

But, as we walked through the prequalification questions online, we found some advantages to using Caribou as well. First, they were able to calculate the value of our vehicle through the VIN, license plate, or make/model: most prospective clients will have at least one of those memorized or handy. With Caribou's soft pull on our credit, they were able to easily find our current auto loan and provide us with multiple options for refinancing, depending on our goals (like reducing our payments or lowering our interest). It's only after you choose a lender that you'll have a hard pull on your credit, and we appreciate that Caribou doesn't require any SSN info prior to that point, assuming they can verify the applicant's identity through the other information (like the license plate, address, and phone number).

Best Car Loan Refinance Providers

Get live help if you need it

Second, Caribou representatives stand at the ready to take your hand and walk you through the refinancing process, if you need that. We encourage you to reach out through their toll-free number if you have any questions before you do the preliminary form online or as you're deciding among the loan options presented to you.

Reputation is on the rise

Also, under its rebranded name, Caribou has experienced an upswing in its reputation, evidenced by its "A+" rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau. Almost 700 people have taken the time to leave reviews on the BBB listing, averaging an extremely impressive 4.9 out of 5 stars. You'll see slightly lower (but still praiseworthy) averages on Trustpilot and in other places, with many compliments offered for specific Caribou representatives and for the overall speed and simplicity of the car loan refinancing process here.

Great all-around option for refinancing your car loan

We're glad to give Caribou a 4-star rating, primarily because of the hassle-free prequalification process that doesn't require you to disclose your SSN, as well as the hundreds of five-star ratings from extremely happy refi customers. While we'd encourage you to watch out for those processing fees that the lenders may slide into your loan terms, there's nothing sneaky about the way Caribou handles that part of the process. Caribou could be a great option if you'd like a peek at what a number of lenders are willing to offer you on your next auto loan refinancing.

Where's the Best Place to Refinance Your Car Loan?

Imagine this: you've got a car, and you've got a loan to pay for it. But what if you could find a better deal, a way to pay less each month or even pay off your ride sooner? That's where refinancing comes in.

Maybe when you first got your loan, your credit score wasn't so hot, and you ended up with a not-so-great interest rate. Or maybe the economy has shifted, and interest rates have dropped since you first signed on the dotted line. Whatever the reason, if you can snag a lower interest rate by refinancing, you could end up saving some serious money in the long run.

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Car Loan Refinance FAQ

Unless you got a really great deal when you bought your car, you're probably paying a high interest rate on your loan. Refinancing is a great idea if interest rates have dropped since the time you made your purchase, saving you hundreds (or thousands!) of dollars over the lifetime of your loan.
Eligibility requirements vary based on the lender and your state of residence. Most financial institutions require that your car be 10 years old or newer and have less than 150,000 miles - though you may find that some lenders have more stringent requirements. Some vehicle makes, such as Hummer, Saab and Isuzu, may be excluded from refinancing offers as well.
That depends. If you can get a new loan at a lower interest rate, chances are good that you'll save money on your monthly payments. But, if you refinance into a loan with a much longer repayment term, do the math to make sure you're not paying more in the long run. Also factor in any fees that may be charged for your new loan, because they will cut into your savings.
Probably not at your local bank! While it's tempting to go with the simplicity of refinancing through the financial institution you've always used, they're not going to compete for your business: they already have it! A better method is to look at your options online, where it's easy to get car loan refinancing offers from several lenders at once. Plus, internet-based lenders often have less overhead, which translates into lower rates for your refi.
Absolutely. For many smaller banks and credit unions, online lending lets them reach customers they might not find otherwise - which equals greater savings for you. Of course, it's important to do your homework and make sure that any service you use for your car loan refinancing is reputable and will protect your personal information, especially if you are required to enter your Social Security Number for identity verification. A strong rating from the Better Business Bureau is a solid way to establish that a service is legitimate.
Sometimes. Beyond the interest you'll pay on any loan, you may find origination fees or other costs for processing your application, updating your title, and so forth. Read the fine print before you commit to a lender for your auto refinancing.
Not necessarily, but it helps. As with any type of borrowing, higher credit scores usually translate into lower interest rates. And, some lenders have a minimum credit score of 580 (give or take) to be eligible to apply for auto refinancing loans.
Instead of applying directly with a single financial institution, you can use a referral platform to get quotes from multiple lenders at once. These services use vetted partners in their network, using your application to match you with banks and credit unions willing and able to fund your auto refinance loan. From there, the experience varies: some referral providers require you to re-enter all of your initial application information directly with the lender you select, while others streamline the process and transfer your details to the lender you've chosen. Be aware that you may get multiple emails, texts and phone calls from interested lenders when you provide your information to a referral platform!
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Continued from above...

Like anything in life, there are pros and cons to consider. On the upside, refinancing could mean lower monthly payments, which can free up some cash in your budget for other things, like saving up for a rainy day or treating yourself to a fancy coffee every now and then. Plus, if you can get a lower interest rate, you'll pay less in interest over the life of your loan, which means more money in your pocket.

But there are downsides too. Refinancing usually means extending the length of your loan, which could mean paying more in the long run, even if your monthly payments are lower. And if your credit score has taken a hit since you first got your loan, you might not qualify for a better rate anyway. Plus, there are often fees involved with refinancing, so you'll want to make sure the potential savings outweigh the costs.

All pluses and minuses aside, it's a smart idea to start your car loan refinancing online. Instead of driving down to your local bank or credit union, you can compare rates and apply for refinancing right from the comfort of your couch. Plus, online lenders often have lower overhead costs than traditional brick-and-mortar banks, which means they can sometimes offer better rates and terms.

When it comes to comparing different sites for auto loan refinancing, there are a few criteria you'll want to keep in mind:

  • Interest rates and terms. The whole point of refinancing is usually to get a better rate than you currently have. But don't stop there - be sure to look at the terms of the loan as well. How long will you have to pay it off? Are there any fees involved? And don't forget to read the fine print - you'll want to make sure there are no sneaky clauses that could come back to bite you later on.
  • Referral platform or direct lender. Some sites you'll visit serve as a referral platform, helping you check out your options with different banks and credit unions all in one shot. Others will offer to lend you the money directly. Make sure you know what you're getting before you start entering your SSN and other sensitive data.
  • Reputation. Is it a trustworthy service? Has it been rated by the Better Business Bureau? Are car owners like you getting good refi rates and excellent customer service?

Ultimately, the decision of which site to use for auto loan refinancing will depend on your individual circumstances. Maybe one lender offers a slightly lower interest rate, but another has better customer service or more flexible repayment options. To help you do your homework and crunch the numbers, the experts here at Top Consumer Reviews have rated and ranked some of today's most popular options for car loan refinancing. At the end of the day, those car payments are your hard-earned money, so why not make it go a little farther with a better loan?

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