What Is Autopay?
After submitting your information to Autopay, the company tells us their marketplace of lenders can help you quickly and easily obtain the lowest auto loan rates available. Even if you already have a loan, they claim they could help you refinance for the best possible APR.
The company indicates this process can help you solidify a loan before going to the dealership, thereby saving you time, money, and potential headaches. They also specialize in providing related products, like vehicle service contracts (VSC) and GAP coverage.
In fact, Autopay is so confident in their lending network that their website promises, “In just a few minutes, you can probably improve your payment.” But will they help you improve your financial situation, and do they have any competition?
Let’s kick things off by taking a look their details.
Is Autopay a Lender?
In short; no. Instead, Autopay partners with credit unions and financing institutions and works with them to find the best possible loan terms (whether new or refinancing), based on your specific situation. These lenders include Shift, EveryAuto, Instamotor, LMB Auto Finance, and TRED.
Here’s how it works: You submit your information to them. Then, they pass your information along to one or more of their lenders, who will then underwrite your application for approval.
While they claim this can save you a ton of time at the dealership, Autopay also works behind the scenes as a “virtual Finance & Insurance office, making sure that your best interests are protected” from start to finish.
Does Autopay Only Provide Loan-Matching Services?
In addition to helping you find the right lender with the best terms, Autopay also offers a specific vehicle service contract, named Estate Coverage, through AUL Corp. This includes coverage for a vehicle’s brake, front and rear suspension, and cooling systems, as well as seals and gaskets.
Additional roadside assistance benefits are available such as towing, flat tire change, emergency fuel delivery, battery jump, and key lockout.
Another related option you’ll find through Autopay is Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) insurance, which “covers the financial gap between the actual cash value of a vehicle and the payoff amount of the loan or lease in the event of a total loss.”
What Are Autopay’s Eligibility Guidelines & Will an Application Affect Your Credit Score?
In order to send your application to one or more of their lending partners, Autopay will need documentation for your driver’s license, insurance, paystubs or tax returns for proof of income, a utility bill or lease agreement for proof of residence.
While they can provide you with a good idea of your options without one, they’ll require specific vehicle details in order to process an approval. If you’re refinancing, they’ll also require a payoff letter.
Keep in mind that depending on the specific lender, you could be asked to provide additional documentation.
Autopay indicates they will perform a soft pull on your credit that will not negatively affect your credit score. Once you choose to submit an offer for approval through a lender, however, the subsequent hard pull could impact it by several points.
Speaking of which, although we’re told that each lending partner has a different set of criteria for approvals and that the company can accommodate much of the spectrum, your credit score, income, and credit history will have a big impact on your rate.
All pre-qualification and lender-approved offers are valid for 30 days.
How Much Are Autopay’s Rates & Fees?
Autopay doesn’t charge any fees to apply. While each lender and application will be different, their partners can provide auto loans ranging from $2,500 to $100,000, with rates as low as 1.99% and terms between 24 and 84 months for qualified applicants.
Some reviews we encountered (more next) indicated there were miscellaneous fees associated with some of their loans, such as document fees, although there is no prepayment penalty.
Overall, the company claims their customers save an average of $1,000 each year and lower their APR by 50 percent. The Partners page on their website reflected a 94% loan approval rate.
Autopay’s GAP coverage also provides terms up to 84 months and protection for vehicles valued up to $100,000, with up to $1,000 in deductible coverage. However, per their GAP website page, it appears they’ll only cover a single loss up to $50,000.
Most of their lending partners offer automatic payments, although according to their Refund page, Autopay’s policy stipulates, “No refunds will be provided for payments made to your account.”
Autopay’s customer support can be reached at 844-276-3272 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What Can We Learn From Autopay Reviews?
Overall, Autopay seemed to have a mostly positive online customer reputation at the time of our research.
On CreditKarma, the company had an average rating of 3.8 stars based on 30 customer reviews. There, most compliments revolved around competitive rates and helpful support personnel, while frequent complaints related to less-than-stellar service and higher rates.
NerdWallet indicated that Autopay’s lenders charged a maximum APR of 17.99%, with an average of about 5.4% and 14 days funding time. They indicated the company’s ideal customer is someone who’s been building their credit for six to 12 months (minimum credit score of 600), who makes a minimum of $2,000 per month, and who’s purchasing a vehicle no older than 11 years with no more than 125,000 miles.
See Also: How to Get and Keep a Good Credit Score
Applications can be completed in minutes using a smartphone or a computer.
In the end, the article noted that Autopay might be best for “rate shoppers who want to quickly compare multiple auto loan refinancing offers without affecting their credit.”
From a company perspective, Autopay is based out of Denver, CO and had been in business for 10 years. They held an A+ Better Business Bureau rating, with 20 reviews (35% positive and 60% negative) and more than 60 closed complaints, as of 6/14/17.
Most of these appeared related to customer service issues, although the company seemed to respond quickly in an effort to resolve the issue.
What Should You Look for in a Car Loan Matching Service?
While you might not be flush with the same number as traditional lenders, there are several auto loan matching services competing with Autopay, including LendingTree, CarLoan.com, Innovative Funding Solutions, CarLoanMatch.com, and Smart Car Loan—to name just a few.
If you’re in the market for a new loan or a refinance, you can also use sites like Bankrate.com to quickly check the lowest possible rates through multiple national lenders like Capital One, Nationwide, and US Bank—without submitting any information. Most of the options won’t include local lenders like credit unions, though, but neither will most matching services like Autopay.
How to find the best one? Like most other buying decisions, it largely comes down to your most important criteria.
For example, do the matching service’s lenders only offer personal loans, or also ones for commercial or business vehicles?
What about those that specialize in consumers with less-than-stellar credit scores? The lowest possible rates? Longest repayment terms? New purchase vs. refinance? Classic or vintage vehicles? Additional products like roadside assistance or GAP coverage?
To choose the best one, you’ll want to start by searching consumer review sites like HighYa to see what others are saying about their experiences. Do you find any frequent complaints? If so, this could be a red flag that you might experience the same.
Our Final Thoughts About Autopay’s Vehicle Loan Matching Service
Will you find success through one of Autopay’s lenders? Since—like any other type of loan—exactly what you’ll pay depends on personal specifics like credit score, income, credit history, the year, make, model, and mileage of the vehicle you’re looking to purchase, as well as your requested loan amount.
In the end, the only way to know for sure if Autopay really can save you money is by reaching out and pre-applying. It’s free, won’t impact your credit score, and you aren’t obligated to continue if you don’t find their rates competitive, so it doesn’t seem you have a lot more to lose than a few minutes of your time.