The Pros & Cons of Internet Financing Web Sites
Before you go speeding off to research financing options or apply for a loan online, you need to consider a few dangerous realities about financing on the Internet.
Unless you are dealing with a very few noncommercial sites or dealing with the Web site of your bank or your credit union, financing ripoffs are generally worse on the Web than at dealership. At times, even the good online sources can hurt you. Why? Online, you are not a human being. You are an inconsequential response nodule. Don't believe me? Do this experiment: go to some Web-based finance sites. Go to both a pure finance site and to the finance Web page of a dealership and/or manufacturer. Send an e-mail to those sites using an impossibly stupid name and an impossibly stupid question, and watch what comes back.
For instance, enter your name as I. M. Asucker on one of their friendly forms. Ask if they finance cars if you live on the moon or Mars. Under "special comments," say you're only twelve years old. You will get an answer that takes you seriously. That's because these sites, except for smaller independent dealerships (about as rare as heavy water) are computer-driven, not human-driven. At least with dealership finance salespersons you can look them in the eye, threaten to leave on the spot and finance directly at your bank. You can duel. You can't do that with the Internet companies.
Consider the following issues before you go surfing even the best Internet sources for automotive loans.
Some finance sites promise to "shop" your loan for the best rate--or "guarantee" the lowest rate. Can they do that?
The Web "comparison" sites generally add a layer of cost to a loan you could make directly.
"Convenience" isn't worth thousands of dollars.
Rate comparison sites obviously only quote rates from their cooperating sources.
None of the commercial finance Web sites tell you that a credit union may beat their rates.
'Testimonials' on Web sites are worthless.
So Should You Forget The Web When It Comes To Financing?
No. Some really great loans are available on the Web, and at the very least, the Web provides opportunities to compare rates before you actually pick your financing source. But the Web is dangerous because it encourages you to move too fast and too trustingly. And the Web is not the only place to find cheap, smart money. Don't fall for the "infallibility" of high tech! Your goal is to look at all potential sources, and then decide the best source.