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If you want to refinance an auto loan, you may consider online lenders like RateGenius and LendingClub.
RateGenius is a loan marketplace. It connects borrowers to different lenders and helps applicants compare loan offers. Some partners offer low rates for well-qualified borrowers. LendingClub, however, provides auto loans through LendingClub Bank. Applicants can get loans with longer repayment terms, which means paying more interest over time.
Choosing between these lenders can be tricky, so we’ll break down the differences to help you choose the right one. RateGenius is good for people who want a lower interest rate in states LendingClub does not service, while LendingClub shines if you want longer terms and smaller loans.
RateGenius vs. LendingClub at a glance
Though RateGenius and LendingClub both promise the potential to lower your rates with a refinance, they work differently and are best suited for different borrowers.
|Loan term lengths
|Possible late payment fees
|Minimum credit score
|All 50 states
|Time to funding
|Up to 15 days
- Interest rate transparency: The lender publishes its lowest annual percentage rate (APR) on its website, letting you get an idea of the amount you could pay if you have strong credit. The minimum rate is also lower than many competitors offer.
- Qualify with fair credit: You don’t need perfect credit to get a loan with RateGenius. When you submit the application, RateGenius will match you with lenders that work with people of your credit profile.
- Co-applicants permitted: You can apply with a co-applicant. If your co-applicant has a better credit score than you, they could improve your chances of approval or a lower rate.
- Unclear fees. RateGenius doesn’t have a fee schedule on its website, so you can only find out what fees will be charged, and the size of those fees, by applying. This is common among loan marketplaces, as fees vary among lenders.
- Loan restrictions. RateGenius requires that you refinance at least $10,250 in auto debt to qualify, which makes it a poor choice if you have a small balance remaining. The typical minimum is more like $5,000.
- Rates may be high for borrowers with poor credit. RateGenius doesn’t disclose its maximum rate, which may be quite high for borrowers with poor credit.
- Price transparency. LendingClub discloses the minimum and maximum APR it may charge and also notes that it does not charge a loan origination fee.
- Prequalify without a hard credit inquiry. You can prequalify with LendingClub to get a loan offer and see your interest rate without impacting your credit score. That makes shopping for a rate risk-free.
- No prepayment penalty: If you want to refinance again later or pay your loan off early, LendingClub won’t penalize you.
- High rates. LendingClub has a slightly higher minimum rate than RateGenius and also a high maximum rate at 24.99 percent. But its minimum rate of 4.99 percent is still competitive compared to other bank lenders, and national average rates.
- Vehicle restrictions. In addition to standard model year and mileage limits, LendingClub has a list of manufacturers and models that it will not refinance, including some popular vehicles.
- Not available in all states. LendingClub does not offer auto loan refinancing in Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming.
How to choose between RateGenius and LendingClub
Both RateGenius and LendingClub offer online auto refinancing with the opportunity to get offers from multiple lenders.
Choose RateGenius if you have great credit and a large balance
RateGenius is likely a stronger choice than LendingClub if you have a great credit score. Its minimum APR is slightly lower than LendingClub’s and competitive with some of the lowest refinance rates, which are around 5 percent.
If you owe at least $10,250 and can qualify for the lowest rates, you can use RateGenius to refinance at a potentially lower cost than LendingClub. But check for potential fees, such as origination and prepayment fees, before signing off.
RateGenius may also be a better fit than LendingClub in some situations, such as when you live in a state LendingClub doesn’t serve, own a car that LendingClub won’t refinance or want to compare multiple options with a single application.
Choose LendingClub if you want a long loan term or have a low balance
LendingClub’s big advantages over RateGenius are longer loan terms and a lower minimum loan amount. While an 84-month maximum term is shorter than some of the competition’s, like Autopay’s 96 months, it certainly beats RateGenius’ relatively short 48 months.
LendingClub also lets you refinance with as little as $4,000 remaining on your loan, meaning many more borrowers will be eligible to refinance with LendingClub than with RateGenius. Plus, LendingClub states upfront that it doesn’t charge an origination fee.
Compare more lenders before applying
RateGenius and LendingClub are just two of the many auto loan refinancers out there. Whether you’re looking for a bad credit auto refinancing loan or have great credit and want the lowest rates, these lenders may be able to help, but you should make sure to take the time to shop around and look at other lenders. Putting in the effort to comparison shop can help you save money by getting a great deal.