Online car loan brokers

Applying for a car loan through an online broker can be a quick, convenient way to secure the right kind of finance for your car purchase.

If you’re interested in buying a new car but put off by the process of securing a loan, you might consider applying for finance through an online intermediary. Car loan brokers assist customers with filling in loan applications and helping them find the best lender and loan product to suit their individual needs.

Online brokers help you fill in the application forms and advise you on how best to present yourself and your situation to your potential lenders. Applying with a broker means that your application is submitted to several lenders, which increases your chances of getting approved.

How does applying for a car loan online work?

The first step is getting in touch with the online broker about your car finance needs. Most car loan websites have a contact or a quote form you can fill in. The car loan broker will then follow up with you about your financial situation, the car you’d like to buy and the appropriate loan product. This information will be used to do a preliminary assessment of your situation.

After cross-checking your application against various lenders’ criteria, the broker will recommend a loan product suited to your situation. If you agree to the suggested terms, the broker will secure the finance on your behalf.

You will also need some information from the seller so that the lender can settle the loan contracts. Funds will then be sent directly from the lender to the seller, after which you can collect your new car.

What do you need to apply with a car loan broker?

Here’s what you’ll need to submit as part of your application:

  • Driver’s licence
  • Medicare card
  • Proof of income
  • Proof of residence
  • Passport or birth certificate

You’ll also have to provide information about the car you’d like to buy and the person or company selling it (if you’ve chosen your vehicle). The more complete your application, the better your chances of getting it approved. Online brokers work with a variety of lenders, so they’ll help you cast a wide net by highlighting the strongest aspects of your application.

What are the pros and cons of applying with an online car loan broker?

  • Bad-credit applicants accepted. While traditional lenders might be wary of ending to customers with bad credit, you might have better luck with an online broker since your application is submitted to several alternative lenders.
  • Possible discounts. Online brokers do lots of business with certain lenders, so chances are that they may be able to negotiate loan terms and get discounted interest rates for you.
  • Legwork. Besides helping you with the application itself, the online broker does all the legwork in shopping around for the best loan for your budget.
  • Impersonal.If you prefer face-to-face exchanges with lenders, then this solution is not for you. The broker submits your application to lenders on your behalf, and you might not even meet with the lender who grants you the loan.
  • Additional fees. Brokers charge a brokerage fee for their services, as well as other fees for setting up the loan. Added to the instalments, insurance and other fees, the loan can start becoming very expensive. Research the broker’s fee schedule before committing to any contract.

Is there anything you need to keep in mind?

Buying a new car is exciting, but there are a few things to keep in mind before signing any binding contracts.

  • Be realistic. Besides a house, a car is one of the bigger investments you’ll make. Go for a purchase that’s good value for money and that you can afford to pay off and maintain.
  • Thoroughly check the car. Before signing any legal contracts, make sure that the car corresponds with the seller’s description. Check the car’s mileage, the features advertised and its general condition.
  • Don’t settle. You don’t have to sign or agree to anything if you don’t feel comfortable with the broker’s recommendations. Make sure that the broker has a clear idea of what you want and what you’re willing to pay.

Frequently asked questions about applying with a car loan broker

If you have valuable assets like property, other vehicles or business equipment, you can use these as security for a car loan.

After an initial assessment, some online brokers offer conditional pre-approval before submitting your application to lenders.

Since you’re not dealing with the lenders yourself, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re borrowing from a legitimate loan provider. Check to see whether the lender is registered with the Credit Ombudsman Service. In the case of a dispute or legal issues about the loan, you’ll be able to contact the service for an independent resolution.

Picture: Shutterstock

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