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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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