RateGenius Auto Refinance Review
RateGenius Auto Refinance
Rategenius uses technology to connect consumers with its network of more than 150 participating auto refinance lending institutions across the country.
- Several Quotes at Once
- GAP Coverage Option
- No Fees
- Hard Credit Pull
If you’ve had enough of shopping for lenders to refinance your auto loan, without getting the results you want, you may want to take a close look at RateGenius Auto Refinance.
It’s not a direct lender, but an auto loan refinance broker that helps you find the best lender from a network of participating lenders. It will save you the time it takes to make applications with multiple lenders, since you can complete a single online application and get loan quotes from several lenders at once.
And if you have a lease you want to buy out of, RateGenius Auto Refinance can help you with that as well. The service is available in all 50 states and can accommodate even large loan amounts.
RateGenius Auto Refinance is based in Austin, Texas, and has been in business since 1999. The company uses technology to connect consumers with its network of more than 150 participating lending institutions across the country. They claim to be the largest and most trusted auto refinance provider in the country, with the most expansive lender network.
As a loan broker, rather than a direct lender, RateGenius Auto Refinance provides consumers with access to all lenders in their network. That means you can shop on a single platform from the comfort of your home and have access to loan quotes from dozens of participating lenders. The company believes this will give you access to the best terms and the lowest rates on car loans available anywhere.
RateGenius Auto Refinance has a Better Business Bureau rating of “A-“, which is one of the highest ratings on a scale of A+ to F.
RateGenius Auto Refinance Interest Rates
The rate you receive will be determined by your credit score, the loan amount, loan term, vehicle information, credit usage, and credit history. Rates may vary from one region to another since not all lenders participate in all geographic locations. As well, each individual lender will set their own rates.
RateGenius General Qualifications:
- Loans cannot exceed 125% of the retail value of the vehicle being refinanced.
- The maximum debt to income ratio (total fixed monthly debt payments, including the new refinance payment, divided by your stable monthly income) is limited to 50%.
- Vehicles eligible for refinancing include cars, trucks, SUVs, and certain specialty vehicles.
- Vehicles must be in an individual’s name, not in the name of the business.
Current interest rates range from a low of 2.39% to a maximum of 25.99%. Like rates, fees will vary by lender and state, though they are generally low or non-existent with most participating lenders. For example, most will collect fees necessary to process your title for your state Department of Motor Vehicles.
The site does indicate some lenders will have prepaid finance charges associated with your new loan.
Below is a sample of interest rates for 60- and 72-month term auto loans at four different credit score ranges, as of January 25, 2021:
Auto refinance loans are available in amounts ranging between a minimum of $10,000 to a maximum of $55,000. In addition, the original loans must have been funded at least one month ago, with at least 24 months remaining.
The vehicle must also meet certain eligibility requirements:
- The vehicle must be under 10 years old.
- Have less than 150,000 miles.
- Be a personal use vehicle (no business use).
Credit Score Needed
RateGenius Auto Refinance will perform a hard credit pull at the time of application. They also advise that some participating lenders may also pull their own credit reports on your name, which will affect your credit score.
However, when you make multiple credit inquiries related to a single transaction, your score will not be affected as long as all additional credit pulls occur within 14 days of the initial check.
The minimum credit score requirements may be as low as 550. However, the interest rate you’ll be charged for a score that low will likely be at the very upper end of the interest rate range for participating lenders on the platform.
Loan Repayment Terms
Loan terms range from a minimum of 24 months to a maximum of 84 months. You should, however, be hesitant to go with a longer-term loan on a refinance, since an 84-month loan, in particular, has the potential to last longer than the vehicle will.
RateGenius Auto Refinance does permit you to get financing to purchase a leased vehicle once the lease term is up.
This is a tool provided to help you see if a refinance will save you money. You’ll enter your current loan information, including the original loan amount, the current balance, your interest rate, and the original term of the loan.
Next, enter the new loan information, which will include the new loan term and the new loan interest rate.
The Refinance Calculator will show you the new monthly payment, the monthly payment savings, and the total payment savings over the life of the loan.
You’ll need to meet the following requirements to be eligible for a refinance:
- You must be 18 years old or older.
- Be a US citizen.
- Have a minimum income of $2,000 per month.
- Have an existing loan (no new purchases).
- Know your current vehicle information, including the vehicle identification number, current mileage, and make, model, and style of your vehicle.
- Know the name of your current lender, and current monthly loan payment.
- Have ready your physical address, email address, and phone number.
If you’re self-employed, you will need to provide your net monthly income (after business expenses). Specific income documentation for self-employment will vary by lender.
If you’re unable to qualify for a refinance based on your own income, many lenders do permit adding a cosigner to the application. Anyone who is over the age of 18 and resides in the same state as you can act as a co-applicant. However, that person will have to provide information directly, rather than relaying it through you.
Once you’ve completed the application, you should begin getting refinance rate quotes within 24 to 48 hours.
Once your loan is approved, your loan documents will be available for review on the website, or you can have them delivered to your home by UPS. The documents can be returned electronically or by using a prepaid postage envelope.
RateGenius will then handle the payoff of your current auto loan, transfer the title to your new lender, and transition you to your new lender.
RateGenius restricts access to non-public personally identifiable information to only their employees and agents who might need that information in connection with the services they provide. The company maintains physical, electronic, and procedural protections that comply with federal and state laws to safeguard your information.
Customer contact is available by phone and email, Monday through Friday from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM, and Saturdays from 9:00 am 5:00 pm. Live chat is available Monday through Saturday, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, all times Central.
The website also has a Learning Center page that has dozens of valuable articles dealing with all aspects of auto loan refinancing. For example, they address refinancing your loan after bankruptcy, the benefits of credit unions, buy versus lease, and an explanation of what a lease buyout is.
Pros and Cons
- Auto refinance loan broker, giving you access to rate quotes and loans from more than 150 participating lenders.
- The multi-lender format offers you an opportunity to get the best rate and terms for the loan you want.
- RateGenius offers GAP coverage if the amount of your new loan is greater than the value of your vehicle. That will prevent you from having to pay out-of-pocket to pay off your loan if your car is totaled.
- RateGenius charges you no fees to use the platform.
- Available in all 50 states.
- Auto loans being refinanced must have a minimum of 24 months remaining to be eligible for new financing.
- Refinancing is not available for vehicles used for business purposes.
- Rate quotes will require a hard credit pull, which will affect your credit score.
- There’s a simple-looking “Explore Your Options in One Click” page, that redirects you to a complete application before providing you with any rate quotes.
- RateGenius is generally designed for those with fair/average or better credit.
Alternatives to RateGenius
If you’re unable to find a suitable refinance through RateGenius there are plenty of alternatives.
If you have good or excellent credit, some of the lowest rates available can be had through LightStream. They specialize in loans for borrowers with good credit, and you can borrow up to $100,000.
Another popular online auto loan marketplace – and one that may be good for borrowers with bad credit – is myAutoloan. They can accommodate slightly smaller loan amounts, starting at $8,000, as well as credit scores as low as 500.
LendingTree is quite possibly the best-known online loan marketplace. They have the advantage of not only providing auto loans, but also every other type of loan.
That includes mortgages, credit cards, student loans, business loans, and personal loans. It has anything to do with loans, LendingTree’s got it.
You can check out my post about the Best Auto Loan Rates for 2020 that will offer these and many other auto loan sources.
Is RateGenius Auto Refinance For You?
RateGenius is for anyone who wants to get competitive interest rates from various lenders but doesn’t want to make a dozen or more individual applications at direct lenders. You can complete a simple online application and get quotes from multiple lenders. That will enable you to choose the one with the best terms and rates for you.
It’s best used by those who have fair credit or better. This will be particularly beneficial if you took a high-interest rate loan at the time you purchased your car – likely because you obtained financing through the car dealership – or because you have bad credit at the time, and have since improved your credit score. If you do have a high-interest rate loan, and your credit score is at least 640, you should be able to get a new loan at single-digit interest rates.
RateGenius can also accept refinances on higher mileage cars since they’ll go up to as many as 150,000 miles. However, it will not be a good choice if your vehicle is 10 years old or older, and it won’t accept applications if you have fewer than 24 months remaining on your current loan.