Lenders getting increasingly personal with their car loans

Car loans are changing. In the old days, banks had a one-size-fits-all interest rate. These days though, a growing number of lenders are offering personalised rates.

The idea is that when you apply for a car loan, the lender assesses your individual circumstances, based on factors such as your:

  • Income
  • Job type
  • Job tenure
  • Savings
  • Spending habits
  • Assets
  • Debts
  • Proposed car purchase

The lender then uses that information to assess your creditworthiness – that is, how likely you would be to repay a car loan – and then offer you a personalised interest rate. As a general rule:

  • Lower-risk borrowers are offered lower interest rates
  • Higher-risk borrowers are offered higher interest rates

Different quotes for different folks

Personalised car loans are particularly popular with online lenders and non-bank lenders.

A good example is Stratton Finance, which has car loans starting from 4.69 per cent (comparison rate 5.64 per cent)* for ‘prime’ borrowers. Borrowers can visit the Stratton Finance website to get a quote estimate. Here’s how the process works:

  • You provide some biographical information and state your borrowing requirements 
  • Stratton Finance provides an indicative interest rate and your estimated repayments

Remember, these car loans are personalised, so you might receive a different quote to your friend or your partner.

If you then want to take action, Stratton, like other online lenders, allows you to apply for a car loan without leaving your home.

* Data accurate as of 14 November 2019

 

What type of vehicle are you planning to buy with your car loan?

According to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, the top-selling vehicles in October were:

  • Toyota Hilux
  • Ford Ranger
  • Hyundai i30
  • Toyota RAV4
  • Toyota Corolla

Meanwhile, the brands with the highest market share in October were:

  • Toyota = 20.6%
  • Hyundai = 9.0%
  • Mazda = 7.7%
  • Kia = 6.1%
  • Ford = 5.9%
     

Comparing car loans could save you big dollars

Of course, Stratton is just one option. It’s important to shop around and compare car loans so you can find the best car loan for your situation.

Some Australians do the opposite of shopping around: they stick with their current bank on the assumption that they will be rewarded for their loyalty with a low interest rate. However, banks rarely provide loyalty bonuses – and, even if they do, a small rate reduction may be far less than the saving you could make by taking your business to a different institution.

For example, the table below shows the potential savings available to customers of the big four banks who go to Stratton Finance for their car loan.

Whatever make and model you end up buying, your car loan is increasingly likely to include a personalised interest rate.

 

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Learn more about car loans

Can I get a car loan with poor credit?

Poor credit doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be able to get finance for your car purchase, though your options aren’t likely to be the same as someone with good credit.

In fact, a number of specialist lenders exist offering car finance for customers with poor credit, able to provide access to bad credit car loans.

However having a history of poor credit will likely mark you as a potential risk to lenders, so your car financing needs could see higher fees and interest rates. Alternatively, consider a secured car loan, which is a type of loan that uses the car you purchase as collateral, reducing the risk.

Other options include getting someone close to act as a guarantor for your car loan, or to talk to a broker about a personalised rate specific to your circumstances.

What is an unsecured car loan?

An unsecured car loan is a loan that is not connected to a form of security, or collateral. Not all lenders provide unsecured car loans – and if they do, they generally charge higher interest rates for their unsecured car loans than their secured car loans.

Where can I get a guarantor car loan?

There are multiple lenders who are willing to provide loans secured by guarantors.

If someone is willing to go guarantor for you and they meet the requirements set out by lenders, you can apply for guarantor finance online, over the phone, or in person.

Some banks also provide guarantor car loans, though because they’re larger banks, they may have higher interest rates than smaller lenders.

You may want to compare guarantor car loans at RateCity, and find a guarantor car loan ideal for your purposes.

How to find a great car loan

Historically, finding a great car loan would require excess research ranging from visiting an excess of websites or making phone calls, but technology has moved on. Using RateCity, Australia’s leading financial comparison service, you can check out great deals from a range of lenders on the one site.

To start, select the amount you want to borrow and the length of the loan, narrowing your search to show just fixed or variable interest rate results.

Once you’ve indicated your search criteria, you’ll see an immediate list of lenders, ranked by interest rate or application fees. You’ll also be able to view the monthly repayment amount for each result, helping you to know what you can afford.

Up to six products can be compared side-by-side, complete with more information about each car loan, giving you more information about your options.

When comparing your car loan options, it’s ideal to keep in mind some points find a great car loan for your needs. Consider the following:

  • Choosing a low interest car loan can reduce costs
  • Selecting an option with low fees and charges is ideal, because these can really add up
  • Be aware of penalties, such as early exit penalties if you pay off the loan sooner than expected
  • Consider the features that best suit your situation

There are many ways to ensure that you get a great car loan. Ultimately, you’ll end up with the best deal by doing your research and selecting the most suitable product for you.

Where can I get a student car loan?

Student car loans are not a necessarily a product in and of themselves, but what you may be looking for is a guarantor car loan.

A guarantor car loan has a third-party act as a form of guarantee for your loan application, telling the bank or lender that if you default on your loan, someone will pay the loan repayments.

Going guarantor on a car loan is no new thing, and before internet-based credit scores, guarantor car loan applicants would apply for loans with a guarantor or property owner who could vouch for the person borrowing the loan.

To get a guarantor car loan, you’ll need someone willing to act as a guarantor for your car loan.

How do you get a car loan?

There are four different ways you can get a car loan. You can go straight to a lender. You can get a finance broker to organise a car loan for you. You can get ‘dealer finance’ – which is when the car dealer organises a car loan for you. Or you can organise your own car loan through a comparison website, like RateCity.

Whichever method you choose, you will need to provide proof of identification, proof of income and proof of savings. So you may be asked for any combination of passport, driver’s licence, bank statements, payslips, tax returns and utility bills. You might also be asked to provide proof of insurance.

Can I get a no credit check car loan?

You may be able to get a no credit check car loan in certain circumstances, although it’s important to weigh up your options before doing so.

Most lenders refuse to provide no credit check car loans, because they don’t want to give loans to borrowers without first confirming that they have a track record of repaying debts. So any lenders that do provide no credit check car loans would take measures to protect themselves against the risk of default.

That’s why no credit check car loans have higher interest rates than other car loans. Also, borrowers often have to provide security and put down a larger deposit.

What is a secured car loan?

A secured car loan is a loan that is connected to a form of security, or collateral. Generally, the security for a car loan is the car itself. If you fail to repay the loan, the lender might seize your car, sell it and then use the proceeds to recover their debt.

Who provides bad credit car loans?

Lenders that provide bad credit car loans tend to be smaller challenger lenders rather than the bigger banks.

Bad credit car loans are a niche product. The bigger banks tend to focus on mainstream car loan finance for borrowers with better credit histories. That’s why smaller lenders tend to be the ones that provide bad credit car loans.

Bad credit car loans can have high interest rates and fees, so it’s important to compare options before submitting an application.

Where can I find lenders who offer no credit check car loans?

You can find lenders who offer no credit check car loans through comparison sites like RateCity or by doing an online search.

One thing to bear in mind is that lenders who offer no credit check car loans are likely to charge higher interest rates and higher fees than on car loans that include a credit check. Also, lenders who no credit check car loans might expect you to pay a higher deposit. You might also be expected to provide security.

Lenders regard no credit check car loans as riskier than other car loans, which is why it’s a niche product that often features special conditions.

Can I get a discounted student car loan?

Being a student is tough enough, and while you might find the odd student discount on movies and technology, the same can’t be said about car loans, as you can’t really get a discounted student car loan.

Lenders make money on the interest and fees that they charge with loans, and the lowest interest and fees are given to the most reliable credit holders: people with excellent credit history.

As a student, you are unlikely to have enough on your credit report to warrant an excellent history. There are however, ways of getting a lower interest car loan if you can’t get an interest-free loan from the bank of mum and dad. One way of doing this may be through getting a guarantor car loan, which can get you a secured car loan by setting your parents up as guarantors.

Can I get car finance on a pension?

 

Yes, as long as you meet basic criteria set out by lenders you are eligible for car finance. Your interest rate will be determined based on your financial history which can be found in your credit report, your income and any property you may own.

Comparing car loans for pensioners before you settle on one is important though, if you want to secure the best possible loan for your circumstances.

I’ve been denied a car loan before; can I still get car finance?

Even if you’ve been denied a car loan before, you might still be able to get car finance. The key is to make the right application to the right lender.

The ‘right’ application is one that makes you look like an acceptable risk, which might include things like improving your credit score, increasing your savings rate and accumulating a bigger deposit.

The ‘right’ lender is one that deals with borrowers like you. For example, while some car loan lenders only deal with good credit borrowers, there are others that specialise in bad credit or poor credit borrowers.

Where can I find lenders who offer no credit check car loans?

There are companies that claim to offer no credit check car loans. However, you may find that companies that offer no credit check car loans have high fees and high interest rates.

You might be better off finding a specialist lender who will look at your credit history and income, who will decide whether or not you are able to responsibility pay back the loan. Alternatively, you could contact a car finance broker.