Caribou and RateGenius are both marketplaces that help you find a lender to refinance your auto loan. They can help you compare multiple offers at one time, making it easier to find the lowest rate and competitive terms. Caribou is best for prequalifying, while RateGenius is best for those who require fast funding.

Caribou vs. RateGenius at a glance

Both Caribou and RateGenius offer easy comparisons between lenders, but Caribou is unavailable in some states. You may also need to borrow more to work with the lenders in Caribou’s network, although both marketplaces have high minimum loan amounts.

Caribou RateGenius
Bankrate score 4.4 4.1
Better for
  • A seamless online application
  • A wide range of lenders
  • Large lending network
  • Ability to compare lenders side by side
Loans offered
  • Auto loan refinancing
  • Auto loan refinancing
  • Lease buyout
Loan amounts $10,000–$125,000 $8,000–$150,000
APRs 5.95%-28.55% Starting at 4.67%
Loan term lengths 24–84 months 12–96 months
Fees Processing fee ($499) Some lenders will charge finance and processing fees
Minimum credit score 640 Not specified
State footprint 45 states plus Washington, D.C. All states
Time to funding Varies by lender 24-48 hours
Autopay discount? Not specified Not specified
Refinancing restrictions
  • Mileage: Less than 120,000
  • Income: At least $2,000/month
  • Additional restrictions may apply, depending on lender
  • At least 24 months remaining on your loan
  • Vehicle age: Under 10 years old
  • Mileage: Less than 120,000

Caribou

Best for a seamless online application

Bankrate’s view

Caribou lets borrowers compare refinancing loans on its lending platform. It matches borrowers with lenders like credit unions and community banks, which may help you score a competitive APR. The range of possible matches may even help you if you need to refinance with bad credit.

Many lenders offer online applications, but Caribou’s application process lets you apply, view offers and submit documentation in one place. It also encourages borrowers to bundle gap protection and other add-ons when signing off on a new loan. While this ease is a plus, it only stands out against competitors if you are in the market for one of these products — and don’t mind paying interest on their cost.

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Pros

  • Rate comparison: Borrowers can look at different loan options side by side to choose the best offer.
  • Accepts co-borrowers: Applying with a co-borrower can help those with poor credit secure a more competitive loan.
  • Additional products: Caribou offers gap protection, key replacement and other products alongside its marketplace.
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Cons

  • Limited state availability: Caribou is not available in Massachusetts, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, Wisconsin or West Virginia.
  • High maximum APR: The lenders in Caribou's network charge a high maximum APR of 28.55 percent. It’s more than what many competitors advertise.
  • Potential steep processing fee: Depending on the lender you are matched with, a $499 processing fee may be attached.

RateGenius

Best for large lending network

Bankrate’s view

Like Caribou, RateGenius is a loan marketplace that allows borrowers to compare many loan options simultaneously. Its network includes more than 150 lenders and uses your credit to determine the best option for refinancing. And in addition to refinancing loans, RateGenius’s network of lenders also offer lease buyouts.

Once you submit information about yourself and your current loan, you will be presented with offers. Some lenders offer the ability to prequalify, but it may not be guaranteed. RateGenius also has more stringent vehicle requirements than Caribou, although you can qualify even if you need to borrow less.

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Pros

  • Large lender network: There are over 150 lenders in the RateGenius network, and unlike Caribou, these lenders cover all 50 states.
  • Up-to-date rates are shared daily: RateGenius is updated daily with current the minimum interest rates offered by its network of lenders.
  • Lease buyout loans: Unlike Caribou, RateGenius also offers lease buyout loans.
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Cons

  • Refinancing restrictions: There are restrictions around the vehicle’s age and mileage. However, RateGenius’s restrictions are no more strict than average.
  • Potential lender fees: Some lenders in the RateGenius network have early repayment fees and other charges. This may be the case with Caribou’s lenders, too.
  • Max APR not listed: RateGenius doesn’t provide the maximum APR you might face with its lenders. This means you may see interest rates of 30 percent or higher.

How to choose between Caribou and RateGenius

Both Caribou and RateGenius are solid starting points on your journey to refinance. They offer the ability for side-by-side comparison without harming your credit as well as relatively low starting rates.

Choose Caribou for prequalifying

The prequalification process gives you an idea of your expected monthly payment without a hard credit pull. Once you prequalify, you can factor that number into your monthly budget to ensure you can afford the loan — and that it is lower than your current auto loan payment.

Caribou advertises a minimum APR of 5.95 percent and a maximum of 28.55 percent. This minimum falls below industry averages based on Bankrate data. However, the minimum rate is likely only available to borrowers with excellent credit.

Another aspect to look out for is the potential $499 processing fee. While Caribou won’t charge you directly, the lender you’re matched with may pass it on to you. If you choose to go ahead with a Caribou loan, account for this additional cost in your budget.

Choose RateGenius if you need fast funding

Some people refinance because they are worried about missing an upcoming car payment and need to reduce their monthly cost. If this is you, you’ll want a fast refinancing process. RateGenius has funding available in as little as 24 to 48 hours. This is faster than many lenders and better than Caribou’s undisclosed timeline.

RateGenius’s online application is relatively simple, and many lenders allow for online document review, further expediting the process. And unlike Caribou, RateGenius works with lenders in all 50 states.

Compare more lenders before applying

Both Caribou and RateGenius give you the ability to compare several auto loan refinancing options. Caribou is an excellent fit for those interested in prequalifying, while RateGenius is better if you want a quick process.

Like any aspect of your finances, the key to securing the best refinancing loan is to compare lenders. Caribou and RateGenius make it easier, but you can always do the work yourself if you want to avoid the middleman.