About rateGenius

By Derek Lakin
HighYa Staff Published on: Feb 21, 2018

By replacing your current auto loan with a new one, rateGenius is a nationwide, web-based broker that promises to connect you with more than 150 lenders across their network, and potentially lower your APR and save hundreds or thousands of dollars in interest fees.

Specifically, whether you’re looking to refinance a car, truck, or SUV loan, the website advertises that they’ve helped their 355,000+ customers save an average of $78 to $89 per month. In addition to saving money, we’re told rateGenius will handle all of the heavy lifting, so the three-step process is quick and painless.

The company’s affiliate, rateGenius Insurance Agency Inc., can also work with their 20+ carriers to help you find the best coverage and “save on your auto, home, boat, motorcycle, or RV insurance.” And their top-rate products like GAP waivers and service contracts can help ensure you have the broadest coverage possible.

Bottom line: Can you expect to spend less money with rateGenius? Are there similar companies you should consider during your research? We’ll answer all of your most important questions, starting with the process.

How Does the rateGenius Auto Refinance Process Work?

Application & Approval

rateGenius’s online application takes just a few minutes and involves entering general information about yourself (name, address, contact details, employer phone number, social security number, etc.), lien holder details (company name, current monthly payment), and vehicle information (make, model, style, mileage, and VIN). If you don’t have all of the vehicle’s information available, you can complete the application at a later date—just be sure to note the application ID before closing.

From there, your information will be sent through an encrypted network to the company’s skilled team of loan officers, and stored on secure servers. They’ll work within rateGenius’s network of 150+ lenders to “find the best qualifying interest rate and monthly payment for your vehicle” by “matching your application with the best lender suited to meet your financial needs.”

Specifically, we contacted customer service and learned that each loan is presented to three network lenders (usually credit unions in the applicant’s area), who can then choose to present an offer. Once this occurs, you’ll be notified by email, phone, and even snail mail if you prefer.

As the last step in the process, you’ll need to review and sign your loan documents, which can be viewed through your secure customer portal, or the company can ship them to you via UPS.

The rateGenius fulfillment team will then check the remaining balance of your existing auto loan, ensure it’s paid in full and that every party has the necessary paperwork, and that the new lender will receive the vehicle title.

rateGenius Eligibility Requirements

RateGenius offers refinancing services for a variety of vehicles, including cars and trucks (up to 60 months), recreational vehicles (up to 12 months), and motorcycles (up to 60 months), as long as they’re no older than 10 years, don’t have more than 150,000 miles, and carry a current loan balance of at least $10,000 ($90K maximum).

If you decide that you want to purchase a leased vehicle once your term is up, they can help with that as well, even if the vehicle is in a business name. However, they cannot accommodate commercial or business use vehicles, or heavy machinery.

From an individual perspective, rateGenius requires that all applicants and co-signers are at least 18 years old, have a combined household monthly income of $2K or more, and are OK with having a hard inquiry pulled on their credit. If anyone on the application is self-employed, the company might request additional documentation to verify income as well.

If approved, the company will typically issue a loan that matches the remaining length of your existing loan. So, if you had 36 months left on your current loan, rateGenius would likely finance your new loan at the same 36-month term, but at a lower interest rate.

How Much Does rateGenius Cost?

The website indicates that rateGenius’s lenders offer interest rates as low as 2.99 percent APR (maximum = 18 percent), and that the company doesn’t charge application or loan fees.

Related: 6 Most Popular Used Car Buying Websites: A Comprehensive Guide

However, if your loan is approved, you will have to pay an out-of-pocket title transfer fee to your state (varies by state), and some lenders may charge a loan processing fee. Any other fees can be rolled into the balance of the loan.

If you have additional questions, a rateGenius support representative can be reached at 866-728-3436 or service@rategenius.com.

Are There Any Online rateGenius Customer Reviews?

Across sites like Credit Karma, Yelp, and TrustPilot, we encountered more than 4,000 combined customer reviews for rateGenius, who had collectively given the company an average rating of about 4.5 stars. Compliments commonly related to ease of use, quick approvals, and great customer service, while complaints often referenced declinations and less-than-stellar support.

NerdWallet points out that rateGenius might work best for those who have a good credit rating (their average customer credit score is 690), don’t mind have a hard inquiry pulled on their credit, and don’t mind dealing directly with lenders to complete the paperwork.

rateGenius, Inc. was founded in 1999 and is based out of Austin, TX. The company held an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, based on nearly 330 customer reviews and 58 closed complaints, as of 2/21/18. These seemed to mirror those found elsewhere online, although a company representative responded with a solution in each instance.

Are There Other Online Auto Refinancing Brokers Like rateGenius?

There are perhaps dozens of online brokers competing with rateGenius who also specialize in auto loan refinancing, including popular options like LendingTree, AutoPay, LendingClub (peer-to-peer lending), MyAutoLoan, Innovative Funding Services, and Clearlane, to name just a few.

NerdWallet’s Philip Reed points out that if your credit scored has recently improved, you can probably get a lower APR and save money by refinancing your auto loan. As with any other company, though, we’d recommend choosing an option based on positive online customer feedback, along with obvious factors like their basic eligibility criteria and the number of lenders in their network.

When researching your options, other potential differentiating factors include whether or not the application impacts your credit score, and if there are any prepayment penalties. Also, do they offer additional related services that you might find useful?

What does all of this mean regarding your future with rateGenius?

Our Bottom Line About rateGenius

With a network of more than 150 lenders, the ability to refinance a variety of vehicle types, nearly two decades in business, an almost wholly positive online customer reputation, and additional related products like GAP coverage and vehicle service contracts, it seems that rateGenius tends to deliver on their promises when it comes to refinancing auto loans.

Will they work for you, as well? With so many different variables at play (credit scores, vehicles, loan amounts, etc.), there’s ultimately no way to know without taking a couple of minutes, entering your information online, and giving it a go.

Just keep in mind that unlike some other auto loan refinance brokers, rateGenius pulls a hard credit inquiry on each application submitted, which could negatively impact your score if you choose not to go with one of their lenders.

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7 Consumer Reviews for rateGenius

Average Consumer Rating: 1.0
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 0 4 star: 0 3 star: 0 2 star: 0 1 star:  7
Bottom Line: 0% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-7 of 7
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  • Very bad service

    • Niles,
    • Oct 26, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    This is by far the worst company I have ever dealt with. I made sure to post on all my social media accounts about the horrific and corrupt customer service I have dealt with here. I told all my friends and family as well, whom in turn will tell their networks and so on. I am extremely disappointed in the lack of professionalism I have experienced.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Oct 26, 2018

      Julia G., PR/Content Manager

      Thanks for your review, Mohammed. We're so sorry to hear that your experience with us was anything less than perfect, as it's our mission to provide excellent service and communication to everyone we work with. We'd like to learn more about what happened, but we'll need your application number to do so. If you don't mind, please email us your app# at pr@rategenius.com so that we may research this issue, learn from it, and take the necessary steps to ensure it doesn't happen again. We apologize for any inconvenience, stress, or confusion that we may have caused, and we thank you again for your feedback. Despite your initial experience with us, we hope that we'll have another opportunity to serve you in the future if you'll have us.

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  • I believe it is a scam

    • Atlanta, GA,
    • Oct 1, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I received an email ad from Credit Karma about the refinance. I applied and received an auto response but never received or heard anything else. It’s been weeks. I would never recommend and think Credit Karma should drop their ad business.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Oct 2, 2018

      Julia G., PR/Content Manager

      Mario, thanks for your feedback. We're sorry about this. We never intended on leaving any of our applicants hanging. Turns out, our messaging system had been glitching over the last few weeks! We're so sorry about that! We're aware of the issue and have already repaired it.

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  • Gap insurance and expanded warranty selling co.

    • New York,
    • Sep 24, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    This place it's just so they can sell you gap insurance and extended warranty when you try to refinance, even when your car does not need it. They may find you a .20 to .50 lower rate of what you currently have. After I read the reviews I told then "by the way I will not be needing gap insurance not extended warranty," so they didn't call me back, I had to call back. With a 720 credit score, I was told they couldn't find me a better rate. Simply because I didn't need the extras.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Sep 24, 2018

      Julia G., PR/Content Manager

      Hi Edgar, thank you for your feedback. Because we strive to provide our customers with excellent service and communication, we are disappointed to hear that your experience with us was anything less than perfect. Though we do sell optional additions like GAP and Service Contacts, we are paid by our lender network for the loans that we provide. Plus, we care deeply about saving people money, either in terms of interest rates or in terms of monthly payments, so we would do our best to find a rate that works best for you.

      Our records indicate that our offer was only slightly lower than your current rate and that despite our best efforts to find something lower, we were unable to find a loan option that fit your needs. However, we never want our customers to feel that we have no interest in helping them, and we will address that internally to identify opportunities for improvement. We apologize for any inconvenience, stress, or confusions. We thank you again for your feedback and we hope to have the opportunity to work with you again in the future.

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Scam!

    • Arkansas,
    • Sep 21, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I requested and discussed information but never made an application. I received from them today a rejection letter. How can they dare submit a rejection, when I never made an application to them?

    By the way, my credit score is 834.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Sep 24, 2018

      Julia G., PR/Content Manager

      Marc, thank you for your review. We're disappointed to hear that your experience with us was anything less than perfect, as we always strive to ensure that our customers have the best possible experience. Our records indicate that you submitted an application to us via LendingTree (their application process is quite simple and can often seem like simply entering information to obtain rate information, but it's actually providing information for a loan application). LendingTree then sent your information to us, and likely also several other lending institutions in their network. So, we received your information via your LendingTree application, which is why we sent you the letter.

      In addition, credit is only one factor considered when determining offers for auto refinance loans. Equally, if not more important, are LTV and DTI of the vehicle.

      Thank you again for your review. We hope that we were able to alleviate any confusion, and we apologize for any stress or inconvenience. We hope to have the opportunity to work with you again in the future.

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Bait and switch

    • New Jersey,
    • Sep 18, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I looked into getting a refinance loan through this company and at first, they offered me a much better interest rate. Once I was able to speak with Angelica, she told me that since they had more details on my car that my rate was going to be 5% higher. She claimed that I was really underwater on my vehicle. I had done my research prior to applying, and I knew exactly where I stood on my loan and if $800 difference makes me underwater, then so be it.

    I am with a great finance company now, and I have no issues aside from my higher interest rate. So with that said, it would have had to be a great deal for me to change up. With the 5% higher raise they gave me this only put me a small percentage down from my current company, so I politely declined rateGenius' offer. Well, as soon as I did that, Angelica copped such an attitude and told me that she was just going to close out my application if I was not interested in listening to her. RateGenius needs to work with their employees to get them to understand that not everyone is going to take their offer and that it is OK. It is never OK for a rep at a company to be so snarky totally unprovoked.

    I was completely taken aback by her attitude and it was not justified in the slightest. I stayed polite and simply said yes Angelica, please close my application, have a great day, and thanks.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Sep 19, 2018

      Julia G., PR/Content Manager

      Denise, thank you for your review. We want all of our customers to have an excellent experience with us, and we take great pride in our service and communication. We encourage our loan officers to make cancelling the refinance process just as easy as is it to start it. So, we are very disappointed to hear that you were treated in a way that is not aligned with our standards. We will review this matter internally in order to ensure this behavior is not repeated, and we sincerely apologize for any stress or inconvenience. We assure you that this experience was unusual, and we hope to have the opportunity to work with you in the future and prove that we love what we do. We're so glad that you were able to find savings, even it wasn't with us, and we thank you again for your feedback. Have a great rest of the week!

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  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Dubious

    • Phoenix, AZ,
    • Jul 25, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    rateGenius featured prominently in my Credit Karma portal claiming that they could get me a lower rate on my recently completely auto loan with a local credit union.

    I figured, "why not?" So, I applied with them. I got an email saying my application to refinance my vehicle is "APPROVED!" Hooray!! I'm so special! Haha, not at all. I'm pretty sure anyone who gives their contact information gets this email.

    Then I get a call from a service rep - Justin. He tells me the rate they can get me, which is actually a full point higher than what I currently have. Hmmm...he agrees that this isn't a good deal. He says he'll research some more and get back with me.

    It's been two weeks now, and I have yet to receive any follow-up communication.

    Bottom line - I received a hard credit inquiry for nothing, and they wasted my time.

    My recommendation - AVOID.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Aug 22, 2018

      Julia G., PR/Content Manager

      John, thank you for your feedback. Because we always strive to provide our customers with excellent service and communication, we are disappointed to hear that your experience with us was anything less than perfect. Though not all applicants get approved, we do present offers to those who do. Even if the offer rate is relatively similar to a customer's current rate, we still present the option because some customers simply seek to lower their monthly payment.

      We wish that we were able to find you a better rate, and we hope to have the opportunity to try again in the future. Regarding your loan officer's lack of response, we take follow-ups and prompt communication very seriously, and our lack of follow up is unacceptable. We will research this matter internally to ensure that your experience is isolated. We thank you again for your feedback, and we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience, stress, or confusion that we may have caused. Have a wonderful rest of your week, and we hope to have the opportunity to work with you again.

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  • 2 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Stay away

    • San Antonio, TX,
    • Jul 15, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    It seemed legit until they start hitting you with fees at the end after you providing all your info. They asked for $1200.00! Just go with a regular lender if you can and save yourself the hassle.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Aug 22, 2018

      Julia G., PR/Content Manager

      Angel, thank you for your feedback. Because we always strive to provide our customers with excellent service and communication, we are disappointed to hear that your experience with us was anything less than perfect. rateGenius does not charge any fees, and without researching the specifics of your account, it's hard to say specifically what that $1,200 refers to.

      However, it's likely that either the new lender requested a down payment, or it could be that you expressed interested in one of our optional service contracts of GAP protection products (both are easily removable from the documents). We hope that we were able to clarify things for you, and we apologize for any inconvenience, stress, or confusion that this may have caused. We thank you again for your feedback, and we hope to have the opportunity to work with you again in the future.

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