Online Auto Loans Reference Guide

If you’re looking for an auto loan, the solution may be right at your fingertips. Online auto loans let you obtain the financing you need without having to visit different banks, credit unions, or dealerships.

* Lower rates, speedy applications, refinancing options *

Why are online auto loans gaining popularity? Lower-than-average interest rates are clearly the biggest draw. These rates don’t come without a couple of catches though: the customer must apply for the loan online, and also must agree to automatic loan payments, paid electronically. Applying for the loan via phone or regular mail will result in slightly higher rates, as will opting for a payment system other than the automated electronic one.

Customers can qualify for some online auto loans even if their credit is poor. Certain online lenders will qualify customers even if they have repossession, foreclosure, or bankruptcy records.

A speedy application process also adds to the appeal of online auto loans. Applications tend to be short, and approval can come within minutes of submission.

Even if you already own your car, refinancing is an option online. Research current auto refinancing rates on the web and you may have the opportunity to lower your monthly payments.

* Do your homework *

Not all online loans are created equal, though. Rates quoted by banks online can end up being the same as those offered at their brick-and-mortar branches, so going online doesn’t guarantee the best deal. Also, watch out for application fees and other sneaky charges before you apply online. Even the length of the application and the turnaround time for approvals can vary from lender to lender, so take your time and shop around before applying online.

Overall, finding an auto loan on the web can be a smart and easy way to finance your car, as long as you do the proper research. You wouldn’t buy a car without shopping around and learning all your options first, so it makes no sense to choose your financing without the same amount of preparation.

* Finding an online loan *

Two of the major online lenders for auto loans are E-Loan and Capital One Auto Finance. Many well-known banks also give customers the opportunity to apply for auto loans online, including PNC Bank, Wachovia, Wells Fargo and Chase. You may qualify for an interest rate discount if one of these institutions already handles your mortgage or bank accounts.