Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

When I refinance, does that mean I have to start the entire term of my loan over again or extend the term of my loan?

Your term is flexible and may be shortened or lengthened to accommodate your particular refinance needs. Generally, RateGenius refinances your current auto loan for the amount left in the current term. This means that if you have 42 months left in your current term, RateGenius will refinance your loan at 42 months at a lower interest rate so that you will pay less for the same vehicle in the same amount of time.

Do you only refinance cars?

RateGenius specializes in refinancing cars, trucks, and SUVs. We also provide refinancing services for the following vehicles with a minimum loan balance of at least $10,000.

My vehicle is under my company name. Can I refinance?

RateGenius can refinance a vehicle purchased under a company name into a personal vehicle loan as long as the individual has company authorization. We cannot refinance the vehicle under a company’s name. Commercial vehicles and heavy equipment machinery are not eligible for refinance through RateGenius.

Is there a charge to refinance my automobile?

In some cases, there will be prepaid finance charges associated with your loan. The amount of these fees vary depending on your lender and the state in which you live. Additionally, we may collect a small fee on behalf of your state’s DMV in order to process the title on your behalf. In either case, we’ll always disclose and document these for you to keep you in the loop.

While I am working with RateGenius to refinance my automobile, can I stop making payments on my current loan?

No, you are contractually obligated to make payments on your current loan until your account is paid in full. RateGenius requests a current payoff amount from your existing lien holder that is good for 10 days from the date received. Therefore, it is important to complete all of your loan paperwork and return it to RateGenius as quickly as possible. Once your loan documents are received, RateGenius verifies that all pages have been completed and signed properly, and we ensure that you have included all of the additional information required by the lender, including your proof of income and proof of insurance. That process typically takes 1 business day unless something is missing. RateGenius then submits the completed loan package to your new lender for approval and funding. This process normally takes 2–3 business days. A payoff check will be sent to your current lender either overnight or by 2-day shipping via UPS. Your old lien holder may take 3 to 10 business days to post the payment within their system, but the payment should be dated with the date the payment was received. When the entire process is complete and your current lender has been paid off, then you are free from your old loan.

Application Questions

How long does the application process take?

RateGenius moves quickly to expedite the refinance process. The application takes only a few minutes and within 24–48 hours, RateGenius can put you on the road to saving thousands by refinancing your car, truck, SUV, or speciality vehicle.

Do I have to give you my Social Security number?

We don’t necessarily need your Social Security number to pull your credit. Credit can be pulled with your consent using various pieces of information. However, a Social Security number will provide the most accurate information for your auto refinance loan application. Keep in mind, your privacy and protection is of great concern and a high priority. All information is obtained securely and guarded in our system. See our Security Statement to learn more about how we store your info.

I don’t have my VIN number, mileage or all of the information needed to refinance my vehicle.

Enter whatever information you have now and you can complete the application at a later date. Before closing the site, make note of your application ID. If more information to complete the refinance is needed, a RateGenius representative will contact you via email or phone.

Where can I find my VIN number?

You can easily find the 17-digit number and letter sequence on your insurance card, registration, original purchase paperwork, on your vehicle’s dash, or the end of the driver’s side door.

Can I apply if I am part-time, unemployed, self-employed, a homemaker, or retired?

Generally persons with proof of steady household income qualify for refinancing, pending income requirements are met. Individuals who are considered self-employed will need to provide their net monthly income (income after taxes and deductions as opposed to gross monthly income). Persons who do not meet income requirements can include a co-applicant to help meet those requirements.

Co-Applicant Questions

Can I add or remove a co-applicant from my current automotive loan?

By refinancing your current auto loan through RateGenius, you will be able to add or remove a co-signer from your existing loan as long as you are a resident of a state allowing the addition or removal of a co-applicant. Our customer service department can tell you if your state allows the addition or removal of a co-applicant.

Can I add my boyfriend, wife, mother, etc. to my current loan?

Yes. We can add anyone over the age of 18 as a joint applicant as long as you reside in a state that allows the addition of a co-applicant.

Can I give you somebody else’s information, such as that of a boyfriend, wife, mother, etc.?

To protect your privacy, RateGenius cannot take information on a person from anyone other than his or her spouse, parent, or someone with power of attorney, regardless of relation.

What if the person can’t speak English. Can I give their information to you?

If you are acting as a translator for an applicant, you may provide RateGenius with that person’s information as long as he or she is with you at the time the application is taken, either by phone or online.

The applicant is in the military and is stationed overseas. Can I give you their information?

The person submitting information must be that applicant’s spouse or have the person’s Military Power of Attorney.

I don’t have my co-applicant’s information. Can you call them?

To protect the co-applicant’s privacy, RateGenius does not make unsolicited phone calls to anyone. If you are submitting an application by phone, the customer service representative will give you an application ID. Please have the co-applicant call RateGenius with that ID to continue the application process with them.

Can I refinance a vehicle if I am taking over the payments of a vehicle?

Whoever is applying to refinance must be listed on the loan. If your name is not on the loan, you cannot refinance the vehicle. This applies to married couples, as well.

Can I apply to refinance my leased vehicle?

If you want to purchase the vehicle (a lease buyout) when the lease is up, we can help you submit an application to buy out the lease.

Credit Questions

Where did you get my information and credit report from?

Credit reporting agencies, such as Equifax and Experian, provide promotional marketing lists of people who meet certain predetermined credit criteria (just names and addresses—not your entire credit file). This is a common form of direct marketing—credit card and mortgage offers are good examples of these types of promotions. We do direct marketing through these credit agencies with some of the lenders in our network. Please note that these types of promotions do not show up on your credit report and do not affect your credit score.

Is a credit check required?

Yes. The only way to find the best interest rate to refinance your auto loan is for the lender to make an inquiry into your credit history.

Will my credit score be affected when RateGenius accesses my complete credit report to evaluate the creditworthiness of my application?

When you submit an application to RateGenius, RateGenius will pull your credit history. This is referred to as a “hard inquiry.” This may cause a slight change in your credit score. However, when you refinance your auto loan through RateGenius, your credit improves when your current auto loan is paid in full. If you have applied for too many new accounts recently, those may negatively affect your score.

Did it hurt my credit score when you sent an unsolicited offer for refinance to me?

No. A credit inquiry by RateGenius for a prescreened offer is considered a “soft inquiry” by the credit reporting agency. The soft inquiry is used for marketing purposes only. This means your credit score is not affected.

Will all the lenders in the RateGenius network check my credit?

No. One or two may look into your credit history after RateGenius has made the initial credit check.

Will multiple inquiries for refinance hurt my score?

Because of new credit regulations passed in 2004, you can make multiple credit inquiries related to a single transaction and your score will not be affected any further as long as the additional inquiries are made within 14 days of the initial credit check.

Do you share or sell any of my information?

Any information collected by RateGenius is only distributed to authorized agents or lenders within the RateGenius network, or as may be required by federal or state law or by court order. Otherwise, RateGenius will not sell or share any personal information in regards to yourself or with any person or organization without your authorization.

I know my credit score. Is it still necessary to pull my credit?

Because credit scores can change without notice, an inquiry into your credit history is still necessary in order to find the best interest rate possible. Also, your score is only part of your credit file; lenders look at your full credit history before creating their offers.

Can you tell me my credit score or send me a copy of my report?

Under federal law, you have the right to obtain a free copy of your credit report from each of the nationwide consumer reporting agencies once a year. You can order a copy of your credit report by calling toll-free at 877-322-8228 or online by visiting RateGenius and any lender who pulls your credit is also required to send a notice of your credit score and reasons surrounding the approval or decline of your auto refinance application. These notices will be sent to you 5–7 business days after a decision on your application has been made, and a copy of your credit score disclosure notice will also be included in your loan package. If you receive a prescreened offer from a RateGenius mailer and you do not submit an application, you will not receive a credit notice.