RateGenius 2023 Review
Of all the new vehicles purchased in the United States last year, more than 85% were financed with an auto loan. Financing provides drivers with an easy way to buy a car that they may not be able (or want) to pay for in full, spreading the payments out over a number of years.
While auto loans are a valuable product, though, there comes a time when you may want to refinance that loan in order to save money. And when that happens, platforms like RateGenius can make your search easier than ever, offering refinancing in as little as one day.
What is RateGenius?
RateGenius is an online auto loan refinancing platform, aiming to help drivers find the right refinance lender and auto loan terms. Founded in 1999 in Austin, RateGenius works with more than 150 different auto lenders to help borrowers all over the country refinance their vehicles.
Auto loan refinancing is all that RateGenius does. If you are still paying on your car and are interested in a refi — to help save money each month or remove someone else from your loan, for example — they can help.
The entire application can be done with a handful of clicks online, and the refi process is both quick and easy. Whether you’re looking to refinance your car, truck, or SUV, an aggregator platform like RateGenius might be the perfect place to start.
Benefits of a RateGenius Refi
There are many reasons you might consider refinancing an auto loan. Your refi can be used to:
- Reduce your interest rate, either because your credit has improved since you took out the loan or market rates have changed
- Lower required monthly payments by adjusting your loan structure and/or lowering your interest rate
- Remove a co-signer from an existing loan
Through RateGenius, you’re able to shop around and compare multiple lender offers in order to find the best one for you. In fact, the average RateGenius customer lowers their monthly auto payment by about $83 after refinancing.
RateGenius typically refinances auto loans for the same amount of time that’s left in your current loan term. So if you still have 33 months left of payments, they will default the search to a refinance loan that is 33-months-long. However, if you’d like to shorten or even extend your new refi terms, you are able to do so with ease.
When Refinancing is a Bad Idea
As great as refinancing can be, though, it’s not always the best choice for borrowers.
If you currently owe more than your vehicle is worth, or if your loan-to-value (LTV) ratio is too high, you may not qualify for a refinance loan. While each lender sets their own requirements, you will likely limit your options if your LTV is greater than about 80% or so.
You should probably hold off on refinancing if your credit score has dropped since you took out your original loan, or if interest rates have gone up. That’s because both market rates and your personal credit history play into calculating the APR you’re offered by a lender.
Qualifying for Auto Refinancing Through RateGenius
In order to qualify for an auto refinance loan through RateGenius and its partner lenders, both you and your vehicle will need to meet a few requirements.
For you personally, you will need to show that you:
- Are at least 18 years-old
- Have a combined household income of at least $2,000
Some lenders will have additional requirements, such as your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio being less than 50% and the like.
There are also requirements for your vehicle in order to qualify for a refi through RateGenius. You’ll need to ensure that:
- Your car has less than 120,000 miles on it
- It was financed at least one month ago and has no less than 24 months remaining on the current loan term
- The current loan balance is between $10,000 and $55,0000
- Your vehicle is 10 years-old or less
- The car is a personal use vehicle or, if it’s a business vehicle, you have explicit permission to refinance it in your own name
If you and/or your vehicle do not meet those requirements, you will not be eligible for refinancing through RateGenius.
How RateGenius Works
When you apply for refinancing with RateGenius, you’ll be paired up with a number of partner lenders who are both able and willing to refinance your auto loan. Factors such as your credit score, current auto loan, household income, and vehicle details will be taken into consideration when you apply, and will influence the offers you’ll receive.
After submitting your information, RateGenius will conduct a hard pull of your credit. This will give them an overview of your payment history, credit utilization ratio, and the mix of accounts you carry. From this, RateGenius (and its lenders) can get a good idea of whether you’re a creditworthy borrower.
The Application Process
Applying for your auto loan refi is quick and easy online. You’ll just need to answer a few questions and in a few minutes, you’ll see the offers for which you are matched.
RateGenius will ask you for your vehicle details first, including year, make/model, estimated mileage, current lender, and loan balance.
You’ll then need to provide some personal information, including your:
- Name and date of birth
- Phone number and email address
- Address, monthly payment, and housing status (whether you own, rent, or live with parents)
- Employment details and monthly income
- Social Security number
Once you agree to the terms and conditions, you’ll submit your application. At this time, RateGenius will run your credit and provide you lender results for your refi request. You’ll see the interest rates and term lengths being offered, and be able to choose the lender you like best.
How Long Until I Have an Answer?
The application process only takes a few minutes. There can be delays if additional information is needed or if RateGenius needs to speak with a potential co-borrower to get their personal information.
Once everything is received and approved, however, the actual loan can often be completed in as little as 24-48 hours.
Interest Rates at RateGenius
As with all financial products, the interest rates you’ll be offered through RateGenius will depend largely on your creditworthiness and other financial factors. Additionally, interest rates are subject to change daily based on market fluctuations and even vary by location. Lastly, you’ll typically find lower rates being offered for shorter loan terms.
With that said, RateGenius can give borrowers access to very competitive interest rates from their pool of over 150 partner lenders. This makes it easy for you to shop around for the best offer possible, while only needing to submit one application online.
As of this writing (December 29th, 2020), though, auto refinance rates through RateGenius start as low as 1.85% APR.
RateGenius does not take a cut from borrowers during the auto loan refinance process. This means that you won’t have to worry about things like application fees or origination fees on your loan.
Depending on where your car is registered, RateGenius may collect a title processing fee on behalf of your state's DMV. This fee — typically somewhere between $10 and $35 — is used to switch your vehicle’s title from your old lender to your new one. You will be informed of this charge ahead of time, though, so it won’t come as a surprise.
It’s important to note that RateGenius does leave the door open to potential prepaid finance charges, though these fees are actually charged at the discretion of your chosen lender. The RateGenius website’s fine print states that “in some cases, there will be prepaid finance charges associated with your loan. The amount of these fees vary depending on your lender and the state in which you live.”
Can I Trust RateGenius?
RateGenius has been providing auto refinance loan brokering since 1999, connecting borrowers with lenders across the country who can offer better rates and terms than their current loans. They have the accolades to boot, too.
The RateGenius platform was named Top 3 in Auto Customer Satisfaction by LendingTree in 2017, for instance. RateGenius also has an A- rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and has been accredited since 1998.
Additionally, they have a 4.3 out of 5 TrustScore rating on TrustPilot, with over 3,700 customer reviews. On their own website, they have a 4.9 out of 5 customer satisfaction score, with over 11,300 certified reviews.
RateGenius: The Pros
Let’s take a look at why RateGenius might be one of your first stops in your auto refinance loan lender search.
Refinancing is quick and easy.
The online RateGenius application takes only minutes to complete and get an answer. Once you’ve been matched with potential lenders and picked the one you like best, you can get funded in as little as 24-48 hours.
You can borrow anywhere in the country.
RateGenius is available to borrowers in all 50 states.
There are no hidden fees.
You won’t have to worry about origination or application fees with RateGenius, and they won’t sneak in any unexpected charges. You may see a fee added for your vehicle’s title loan transfer — which will be conducted through your state DMV office — but this is explicitly listed beforehand.
There are many lenders competing for your business.
Currently, RateGenius works with over 150 partner lenders, making it easy to get the best possible offer.
RateGenius can help you buy out a lease, too.
If you currently lease a vehicle, RateGenius can help you submit an offer letter to buy out your lease, and facilitate the refinance loan necessary.
RateGenius: The Cons
Of course, there are some things to keep in mind, and some reasons that RateGenius might not be right for you.
Applications include a hard inquiry.
Some loan aggregator platforms will allow you to get pre-approved or see loan terms with only a soft credit pull. At RateGenius, a hard inquiry is required to complete the application process and see available loan offers.
There are many vehicle requirements.
Your car will need to be no more than 10 years old and have 120,000 miles or less in order to refinance through RateGenius. Your current loan must be at least one month old, have no less than 24 months remaining, and be between $10,000 and $55,000, as well.
You may have trouble refinancing if you’re self-employed, a homemaker, or a freelance employee.
You’ll need to provide proof of income in order to be approved for your refinance loan. If you have unpredictable income or cannot show proof of your earnings, you may need a co-borrower in order to qualify.
The Bottom Line
Buying a car is an expensive venture, so it’s no surprise that more than 85% of buyers finance the purchase. Auto loans are available in a variety of term lengths, allowing you to pay off your car with a manageable monthly payment.
Over time, though, you may find that your auto loan no longer suits you. Perhaps your credit has improved since you bought the vehicle or the market has shifted, and you now qualify for a much lower interest rate. Or maybe you need to free up some cash each month for other purposes, and want to lower your payment amount. In some cases, you may also want to remove a co-borrower from your auto loan.
All of these can be accomplished through an auto loan refinance. When shopping for a refi lender, using a platform like RateGenius can make the process both quick and easy.
At RateGenius, you’ll have access to over 150 lenders with one simple online application. The process takes only minutes, and you can complete your loan funding in as little as 24 hours in many cases. In only a day, you could find yourself saving money and time as you pay off your vehicle.
To learn more about the RateGenius platform or apply for your own auto refinance loan, you can visit the RateGenius website here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will RateGenius be my new lender after the refinancing process?
RateGenius is an auto loan broker, meaning that they will take your information and pass it on to partner lenders in order to obtain refinance loan offers on your behalf. RateGenius simply facilitates the process, but does not actually lend any money in the process.
How does RateGenius make money?
When you complete a loan through one of the partner lenders, that company will pay RateGenius a fee for brokering the transaction. RateGenius does not charge borrowers anything for their services, however.
Can I see my available rates without a hard credit inquiry?
While some lenders and aggregators will show pre-approved offers with only a soft credit pull, this is not the case with RateGenius. The platform will utilize a hard inquiry to run your credit and provide you with refinance loan offers from partner lenders, and there is no way around that.
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Our Auto Refinance Partners
Auto Approve, Autopay, Gravity Lending, iLending, RateGenius
|Credit Score Required||600|
|Number of Customers Helped||400,000|
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