we used lending tree. i got offers from a few banks. synergy bank had the best rate initially, bu tpeople first guarantees to beat any loan and they did beat synergy's offer (by 0.05%). there is no obligation with lending tree, so i think it's a very good place to start. our experience was good.
I used Lending Tree, filled out the info, got four offers, chose the one from RBC Motgage and closed in about one month. Very smooth from start to finish and the rep (Eric Burkgen?) from RBC was great. Once I closed I set out to find the Pilot and found one. Life is good....
I've used PeopleFirst and found them to be great. Very quick/easy/painless. Good place to start from (and then ask other lenders if they can do better). In my case, the dealer did do better ... but I'm sure if I had just walked in with a 'well, what rate can you offer?' look the qoted rate would have been much higher (from the dealer).
If you get approved from Peoplefirst and the dealer can beat PF's rate, PF will beat the dealer's in kind. I did two rounds of this (Honda wasn't offering 3.x at the time) and wound up with an under 4% 60 month loan.
I, too, walked into the dealer with a Peoplefirst pre-approved loan (at 4.9%). During price "wars" with the salesman he offered the 3.49%. I, of course, took that deal. When I canceled the Peoplefirst check I received an email from Peoplefirst stating that they would beat the rate I received. HOWEVER, I don't believe they'll go lower than dealer/manufacuturer offered rates. If this was the case, Peoplefirst would have to give a better deal than a dealer-offered 0.9% (this is an example, not a Honda-offered deal). Check the fine print on Peoplefirst's "we'll beat their rate" offer.
As a Canadian who has lived in the US for 2 years, PeopleFirst will not consider my loan application. Their minimum length of time for an established credit rating is 7 years. I learned this today through a phone call, and apparently they don't flex on this.
This was not the only avenue for financing, but I was hoping to have the pre-approval and low interest rate of Peoplefirst to walk into the dealer with.
Any suggestions for lenders who will consider a shorter time for establishing a credit rating (i.e. 2 years). Funny that one can have a mortgage, etc. (we have had a US mortgage for 2+ years) but receive a negative response for a car loan from this lender.
Sorry to hear that they do not consider 2 years of credit history adequate enough for a car loan. Is peoplefirst.com the only financial institution you've tried, or is it the general response from everyone? The reason for banks to be a lot more flexible with home mortgage is that the owner cannot take off with their house or the land, however, one could with a car. I hope you can find someone who is as competitive as peoplefirst that can offer you a loan, soon.