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GM Financial Auto Loans Review 2021

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GM Financial is a company backed by relationships and the long-standing reputation of the General Motors Corporation.

It is a global provider of auto finance solutions. GM Financial is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, and it is a wholly-owned subsidiary of General Motors.

Formerly known as AmeriCredit, GM Financial offers vehicle financing to consumers through various dealerships worldwide as well as lease programs for individuals and businesses.

This GM Financial review will help you decide if it’s the right solution for you.

How Does GM Financial Work?

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You can apply for GM Financial online.

They have an application on their website that guides you through all of the information needed to get you approved.

First, enter the details regarding the vehicle you want to buy, including the year, make, model, and trim level.

Then enter personal information about yourself, including your name, contact information, address, and work information.

Next, you’ll pick a dealership near you where you would like to find your new car. Then submit!

This process is a great way to pre-qualify for an auto loan, so you will save time at the dealership while buying your new Chevy, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, or other new or used vehicles.

How Much Can You Borrow at GM Financial?

With GM Financial, you can borrow anywhere from $7,500 to $125,000. That’s a broader range than a lot of other lenders.

The amount you qualify for depends on credentials like your income and your credit report, as well as how long of a loan term you want.

A higher income, better credit scores, and longer loan terms allow for more significant loan amounts.

But larger loan amounts and longer terms also have an impact on your interest rate and could increase or decrease your APR based on these factors.

What Is the APR With GM Financial?

As of 3/9/21, GM Financial offers APRs from 1.9% to 19.90%.

Your APR primarily depends on your credit score, but your loan amount and term can affect these rates as well.

Often, agreeing to auto-pay can earn a slight rate reduction. Rates have been generally lower during the pandemic.

What Fees Does GM Financial Charge?

GM Financial charges a few different fees like a loan origination fee, a late payment penalty, and a prepayment fee.

They will charge a fee upfront to generate and implement your loan, which is relatively common among lenders.

If you pay your monthly payment late, GMF will charge a late fee which is also very common.

You will be hard-pressed to find any lender that doesn’t charge a late fee on past due balances.

If you decide to pay your loan off early, they will charge a prepayment fee.

This fee is meant to compensate GM Financial for the interest they are missing out on for the remaining life of your loan.

The Pros and Cons of GM Financial

As with any auto loan lender, some pros and cons may help you make a better decision about their company.

Pros:

  • Available in all 50 states: GM Financial is available in all 50 states plus Washington D.C. They are a global company, so there are also some countries where they provide lending options for buying cars.
  • Funding in 7 business days: You could have your money in as little as seven business days. While it’s not instant, it allows you to start your new car journey soon, rather than waiting months for your loan to be approved.
  • Prequalify online: It’s easy to prequalify online, making shopping for a new car easier because you already know what you’re qualified for.
  • GM Financial specializes in GM vehicles: This niche means they’re more knowledgeable about what they can offer you and how they can get you into the exact car you want based on your qualifications. GM dealers offer Chevrolets, Buicks, Cadillacs, and GMC Trucks.
  • Leases available: If you would rather lease a car than buy one, there are financing options available through GM Financial for that, too.
  • Solutions for personal and business: Businesses can use GM Financial as well, which is a convenient option for leasing fleet vehicles or providing company cars to employees.

Cons:

  • Prepayment fee: If you would like to pay off your loan early, there is a hefty prepayment fee for that. It’s tough to be penalized for making wise financial decisions and getting your loan paid off early. Other loan companies don’t do this.
  • Maximum term of 72 months: You can only take out a loan for up to 72 months. Other financial institutions may provide 84-month options.
  • Only available for purchase from dealerships: If you find a car you want to finance that’s not at an approved GM dealership, you won’t be able to use GM Financial. This company restricts where you can buy your car to GM dealerships only.
  • Only for new vehicles: You can’t use GM Financial for used cars. It’s only available for people purchasing brand new cars through the dealership.
  • Not many online resources: A lot of lenders will give you the tools you need to manage your loan online. Unfortunately, GM Financial doesn’t have the tools online for you to do what you need very quickly.
  • Poor customer service: Every experience is different, but there are a lot of reviews online that claim GM Financial doesn’t have excellent customer service.
  • Prequalifying negatively affects your credit: Many companies allow you to get prequalified by making a soft inquiry on your credit score. That means it won’t hurt your credit until you find the car you want and begin the loan process. GM Financial will hurt your credit score solely for prequalifying.

Along with making phone calls to GM Financial’s main customer service phone number, 1-800-284-2271, customers can also use this finance company’s text system.

For general questions, you can text ‘INFO’ to 53721.

For end-of-lease or final lease payment questions, text ‘LEASE’ to the same number, 53721.

You’ll get a response only if you text during GM Financial’s business hours, 6 am to 10 pm Central time on weekdays and 7 am to 5 pm Central time on weekends.

How to Get Lower Car Payments with GM Financial

Your creditworthiness will be the biggest factor in your ability to borrow at lower rates with GM Financial — or just about any other financial institution.

Improve Your Credit Score Before Applying

When you apply for a loan GMF will check your credit reports with the major credit bureaus.

You can lower your car payments by increasing your credit score before applying for a new car loan.

How can you better your credit score? Start by making on-time payments on all your other loans and payments.

Also, pay down your revolving credit balances. If you pay off a credit card, consider keeping the account open to decrease your credit utilization ratio.

Try to Keep a Stable Employment History

Your employment history could also be a factor in your APR. If you’ve had the same full-time job for a couple years, you can likely get a lower APR.

You may not be able to control this factor. But if you just changed jobs, it may help to wait a few months before applying for a new car loan.

Don’t Borrow More than You Need

Financing in the price of a warranty will increase the amount you’re borrowing which directly impacts your car payment.

Some new car buyers try to finance in enough money to pay off another vehicle; however, this will artificially inflate payments. Most lenders won’t allow you to borrow more than the car’s value anyway.

Refinance with Another Company

In a lower-rate environment caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, a lot of car owners are refinancing their loans.

GM Finance will not refinance a vehicle it already finances, but you may be able to find a lower rate elsewhere. Just make sure the savings you achieve exceed the costs of getting a new loan.

Is GM Financial the Best Choice For You?

Consider whether or not you want to pay off your loan early before going with this finance company.

If you aren’t the type to wait until the final bill to pay off your loan, you may want to choose another finance company.

Also, you’ll need another company to finance a used car. You can buy only brand new cars from a GM dealership with GM Financial.

However, if you’d like to get prequalified to make purchasing a new car at the dealership easy, then it’s a great option.

If you are looking for a loan amount of $7,500 to $125,000, GM Financial may be right for you. You also must have a credit score of at least 550, with higher credit scores unlocking lower APRs in most cases.

Businesses can take advantage of this company’s offers as well.

As for customer service, results vary. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) rates GMF ‘A’ but customer reviews vary based on individual experiences.

As with any financial company, online reviews can be helpful up to a point. Reviews tend to skew negative because happy borrowers aren’t as likely to share their feedback.

But, if you see trends in online customer reviews, these can be helpful.

For example, a lot of customers have complained to the Better Business Bureau about disposition fees appearing on their statements.

If you choose to go with GM Financial, you could ask your loan officer about this and other fees before finalizing your loan.

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