Clearlane car loans review August 2018 | finder.com

Clearlane car loans review

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Get competitive rates — with a bit of a wait — through this online marketplace backed by Ally.

Death, taxes, car loans: Sometimes they feel like the only three certainties of American life. And because buying a car is no ordinary shopping experience, it makes sense that car loans are also a bit different from other personal loans.

You can find car loans at banks, credit unions or online lenders. But you might benefit from wielding the negotiation powers of an online connection service first.

We explore the good, the bad and the confusing of getting a car loan from one of these online brokers: Clearlane.

Product NameClearlane Car Loans
Min Loan Amount$1,000
APR2.84% (As low as )
Interest Rate TypeVariable
Minimum Loan Term3 years
Maximum Loan Term7 years
  • US resident
  • Age 18 or older
  • No past bankruptcies
  • No defaults on loans in the past three years
  • No loans or credit card payments with 60+ days late over the past two years
  • Credit history of 36+ months
  • Monthly income of $2,000+

First, am I eligible?

Clearlane doesn’t enforce any hard eligibility requirements. But you’ll find easier approval if you meet these qualifications:

  • You have no past bankruptcies.
  • You haven’t defaulted on a loan in the past three years.
  • None of your loans or credit card payments have been more than 60 days late over the past two years.
  • You have 36 months or more of credit history.
  • You make at least $2,000 each month.

For those who want to refinance an existing car loan, Clearlane will also consider your auto credit score, your vehicle’s value and your remaining loan balance.

What makes Clearlane unique?

Powered by online bank Ally, Clearlane is an online marketplace that connects customers with auto financing — meaning that it doesn’t provide the loans itself. It offers competitive rates with relatively low requirements, making it a solid option for people who might have trouble getting a bank loan.

What types of car loans does Clearlane offer?

Through Clearlane, you can take out:

  • Car purchase loans. Apply for a term loans for new or used cars directly from your dealership.
  • Car refinance loans. Save on your existing car loan by trading it in for one with better rates and terms.
  • Lease buyouts. Get help to pay for the balloon fee that comes at the end of a lease if you decide to buy your car.
  • Private-party purchases. Look into financing to buy a car from a private individual, instead of a dealer.

Icing on the cake, Clearlane also offers gap insurance, which covers the difference between your vehicle’s worth and your loan balance if your car is totaled or stolen. Or pick up a vehicle service contract through Clearlane, which helps make expensive repairs more manageable.

What are the benefits of getting a car loan from Clearlane?

  • No SSN or hard pull to prequalify. Learning whether you qualify for a car loan won’t hurt your credit score, and you won’t need to provide your Social Security number.
  • Wide variety of loans. Clearlane offers financing that covers most people’s needs — though you might want to look elsewhere if you’re leaning toward a lease.
  • Negotiating power. An advantage of matching services is that you could qualify for a lower rate than you’d find on your own.

What to watch out for

Like most brokers, Clearlane is limited to its network — meaning you aren’t exposed to all options out there. These types of lenders make most of their money from partnership fees, so your best interest isn’t always a priority.

Other drawbacks of getting a car loan from Clearlane include:

  • Prequalification ≠ approval. Clearlane’s lax prequalification requirements can be misleading. Customers complain that Clearlane frequently rejects prequalified customers in the end.
  • Turnaround isn’t always fast. For at least a few customers, the application process dragged on much longer than expected due to mismanagement.
  • Spotty customer service. On top of a general lack of communication, complaints of employee incompetence are not uncommon online.
  • Lots of paperwork. The online preapplication form is deceptively simple, but the actual application takes a lot more time and work. How much paperwork you’ll fill out varies by lender but could be a small mountain.
  • Lack of transparency. Because Clearlane is not a lender, it’s difficult to find information on expected interest, terms and fees. This isn’t uncommon for online brokers but limits knowing what you’re getting into.

Compare car loan providers

Rates last updated August 21st, 2018

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Unfortunately, none of the personal loan providers offer loans for that credit score. If you are in urgent need of a small loan, you might want to consider a short term loan.
Name Product Product Description Minimum Credit Score Term of Loan Requirements
car.Loan.com Car Loans
Apply with a simple online application to get paired with a local auto lender. No credit and bad credit accepted.
300
Varies by lender
Must be at least 18 years old, a US citizen with a current US address and employed full-time or have guaranteed fixed income.
Auto Credit Express Car Loans
Get connected with an auto lender near you, even if you have bad credit.
300
Typically 3 to 6 years
Must be at least 18 years old and a current resident of the US or Canada. Must be employed full-time or have guaranteed fixed income of at least $1,500/month.
LendingClub Auto Refinancing
Lower your monthly car payments and save on interest through a fast and easy online application process.
Fair or poor credit
Minimum of 2 years
Car must be less than 10 years old with fewer than 120,000 miles. Current loan must have a balance between $5,000 and $55,000 and at least 24 months left in its term.
MotoRefi Car Loan Refinancing
A car loan connection service for borrowers looking to refinance.
525
1–6 years
Must have an income of at least $2,000/month and have a vehicle with less than 100,000 miles.
myAutoloan.com Car Loans
Get up to four offers in minutes through one simple application. Multiple financing types available including new cars, used cars and refinancing.
550
24 to 84 months
Must be at least 18+ years old; have a Social Security number; make $24,000+/year; have no open bankruptcies.
LendingTree Auto Loans
Compare multiple financing options for auto refinance, new car purchase, used car purchase and lease buy out.
670
Typically 1 to 7 years
Must be a US citizen and 18+ years old. Must have good to excellent credit.
Capital One Auto Financing
You could qualify for a car loan of up to 40000, but not all dealers accept this bank's financing.
Good to excellent credit
36 to 72 months
At least 18 years old, have a valid street address, have existing Capital One accounts in good standing. Car must be a 2006 model or newer with less than 120,000 miles.
Wells Fargo Auto Loans
Auto loans with high loan amounts to cover your car purchase or refinancing needs.
Good to excellent credit
1 to 6 years
Your income and assets must support your existing debt obligations and the desired loan amount.

Compare up to 4 providers

Is it safe to get a car loan from Clearlane?

The jury’s out on this one. Clearlane isn’t accredited by the Better Business Bureau, but it does receive an A+ rating. It’s also not rated by consumers on Trustpilot yet, and online reviews elsewhere tend to slant negative.

Unlike other loan-connection services, the main complaint with Clearlane isn’t about constant phone calls from lenders. Instead, it’s about poor customer service and incompetent staff.

Backed by online bank Ally, web security is tight, however. Clearlane uses SafeLook encryption when you fill out your application online, and doesn’t require your Social Security number to prequalify.

How do I apply?

Clearlane doesn’t have any explicit eligibility requirements. But preapproval is more likely if you have a clean financial history — no past bankruptcies and no excessively late loan repayments, for example — have a couple years of credit history under your belt and make $2,000 or more a month.

You’re welcome to apply even if you don’t meet these criteria, but it could be a waste of time.

To apply for Clearlane’s loan-connection service:

  1. Go to Clearlane’s site, select your loan type and click Get Started Now.
    Clearlane apply image example, step one
  2. Follow the instructions to complete the preapplication. Carefully read Clearlane’s terms and conditions and click Submit.
    Clearlane apply example, step two
  3. Expect a call from a Clearlane personal loan consultant to discuss your prequalification. You’ll go over your borrowing options and choose a loan that fits your needs.
  4. Complete your loan application with the help of your consultant and submit it for underwriting.
  5. If you’re approved, receive the funds to cover the cost of your car. How it’s disbursed ultimately depends on the type of loan you take out.

While Clearline promises fast funding, in reality the whole process can take weeks. Prepare for a longer haul than advertised.

What documents do I need to apply?

Clearlane itself only asks for basic personal and vehicle information when you apply for a loan with one if its partners. Its partners, however, will ask for documentation that can include:

  • Your driver’s license. Your license must be current and reflect your current address.
  • Proof of income. Typically lenders ask to see a recent paystub that states your monthly and annual salary.
  • Proof of residence. A recent utility bill addressed to you is a common way to prove you live where you say you do.
  • Your car insurance card. Some lenders won’t give you an auto loan unless you already have car insurance.

I got the Clearlane car loan. Now what?

First, go get that car! That’s what this was all about, after all. Once the excitement has died down, consider setting up autopay to avoid missing payments and unnecessary late fees.

Ask your direct lender or your personal loan consultant if you can take advantage of any perks — like discounts on future loans for repeat borrowing.

And stay in touch: You can contact Clearlane at 866-677-8630 or info@clearlane.com. Make sure to get your lender’s contact information as well.

Bottom line

Clearlane car loans could be an option for borrowers who have a difficult time getting approved with a traditional lender. But prepare to deal with subpar customer service and general disorganization, if you believe past customer experiences.

Before you decide on any car loan, be sure to compare your full range of options to find the best financing for your needs.

Frequently asked questions

Anna Serio

Anna Serio is a staff writer untangling everything you need to know about personal loans, including student, car and business loans. She spent five years living in Beirut, where she was a news editor for The Daily Star and hung out with a lot of cats. She loves to eat, travel and save money.

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