Along with the proliferation of the internet came the opportunity to seek new car financing online. This opened consumers to a much broader range of lenders than were previously available. There are a number of other advantages to shopping for car financing this way too. However, traditional face-to-face financing does offer several attributes the internet cannot.
So, which one makes the most sense?
Is online financing really better?
Convenience & Choice
There’s no denying the convenience of applying for car financing online. Capable of being accomplished quickly and from the comfort of your home or office, you can reach out to a wide variety of lenders all at once. This, in turn, means you can get a number of different quotes back all at once, from which you have but to choose the most favorable deal.
The Personal Touch
On the other hand, applying online takes your personality out of the equation. The numbers and the numbers alone will be all an agent has upon which to base a decision. Meanwhile, dealing face-to-face you have the opportunity to present special circumstances you may have in your favor the cold hard data might conceal. You also have the ability to represent yourself more accurately in person than applying online will permit. You’ll benefit from on-the-spot verbal communication, as opposed to trying to refute an erroneous ruling via email, as well.
Meanwhile, online lenders typically offer better rates, because their playing field is a lot more competitive and their overhead costs are often lower. They’re up against every other institution that decided to take their business online. However, they don’t always have the infrastructure costs traditional lenders must shoulder. Lenders who deal only face-to-face rely upon that infrastructure, along with creating personal relationships, to hold on to customers. And, while they might not offer the best possible rates, they do usually have superior customer service.
Pros Of Online Lending
The internet is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you get the notion to apply for a loan at midnight on Christmas Eve, you can submit the application and get a decision in seconds. You can also get pre-approved for a specific amount before you go shopping, whether your goal is to buy a car or if you’re running a search to “lease a car near me.” You can also shop without having to rely upon dealer financing and the additional costs it can impose.
Downsides Of Online Lending
We’ve already discussed the value of personal relationships when it comes to banking issues. Communicating with a living human being can be difficult with online lenders. Even when you think you’re having an exchange with a person, it could be a chatbot programmed to give set responses to given situations and questions.
What’s more, extraordinary circumstances such as acquiring a car for a business can stymie some online lenders. Their systems are most often programmed to deal with cut-and-dried situations.
Due Diligence Is Required Regardless
It may seem easier to trust a physical bank or lending institution than a virtual one, but every lender should be subjected to scrutiny before you agree to do business with them. Think about the nature of the data you’re required to supply to qualify for a loan. Scam artists can easily use it to hijack your identity. Of course, the same can be said for a brick-and-mortar organization as well. Always do some background checking before you give over your personally identifiable data to anyone.
So, with all of that said, is online financing really better?
It depends upon your circumstances and what you’re trying to achieve. Both methods have their plusses and minuses. The real question is: Based on what you’ve just read, which makes the most sense for you?
It might even be both.