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Frequently Asked Questions

 
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About Us


WHO IS OUTSIDE FINANCIAL?

We’re car industry Outsiders with one goal in mind: to bring you the best car loans and protection products at fair prices. To learn more about us and why we started this company, please visit About Us

IS OUTSIDE FINANCIAL A BANK OR A LENDER?

No, we're not a bank or lender. We bring together the best offers from our network of trusted lending partners, including banks and credit unions. That way you can compare your options without having to go to multiple sites.

IS OUTSIDE FINANCIAL A CAR DEALER OR BROKER?

No, we’re not a car dealer or broker. We help you find the right loan to buy a car or to refinance your current car loan. We don’t offer cars for sale, and we can’t help you individually negotiate the price of your next vehicle. To find our top tips for shopping smarter, please check out our 7 Steps to Buying a Car. You can also use our tools to keep you organized and on track.

HOW DOES THE PROCESS WORK?

After you answer a few questions, we’ll match you with up to three pre-qualified lender offers. You choose which lender you want to work with and customize your loan to meet your needs. Then, when you’re ready, we’ll send your application to your chosen lender to make the final underwriting decision.

WILL I BE CONTACTED BY ANYONE ELSE IF I PRE-QUALIFY ON YOUR SITE?

No. You won’t hear from anyone (other than us) until you’ve chosen to apply with a lender. That way, you don’t have to worry about receiving a ton of phone calls or spam emails from companies you’ve never heard of.

HOW IS OUTSIDE FINANCIAL FINANCING DIFFERENT FROM FINANCING AT THE DEALERSHIP?

We help you arrange your financing on your own time and at your own pace. We want you to understand your options without pressure so you can choose the ones that are right for you. Our recommendations are based on what's best for you, not for the dealership.

WILL I BE CHARGED A FEE TO APPLY FOR A LOAN WITH OUTSIDE FINANCIAL?

No! It's always free to apply for a loan through Outside Financial.

ARE THERE ANY OTHER FEES FOR APPLYING?

None of our lender partners charge any application or documentation fees. If you choose to go forward with your loan, you may be charged fees by the state for transferring title, whether you’re buying a vehicle or refinancing your car loan. Each state charges a different amount, usually somewhere between $5 and $80.

HOW DO YOU MAKE MONEY?

Our lender partners pay us a fee for each loan we help set up. We also make money from selling GAP waivers, Vehicle Service Contracts, and other protection products. But we only recommend what we believe is best for you.

DO YOU OPERATE IN ALL 50 STATES?

We currently serve customers in a limited number of states, but we’re always looking to grow. If we're not active in your state yet, please take advantage of the content and tools on our website. More than anything, we want you to get the best deal you can — whether you Go Outside or not!

 

Loan FAQs + Answers


PURCHASES: BEFORE APPLYING

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO APPLY FOR A LOAN?

It's always best to secure your car loan before you go to the dealership to buy. After you've found the car you want and figured out which credit and vehicle protection products are right for you, you'll have a good sense of how much you need to borrow. That's when you should apply for a loan. The Resouces section of our website has a lot of information to help you throughout the process.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET FINANCING?

Most of the time, we can show you up to three loan options within seconds after you hit submit on our website. After you select one loan and apply, the time it takes depends on the lender. Some can give you an answer in minutes, but others take a little longer. We'll keep you updated through email or text, whichever you prefer.

Once you accept your offer, you can take it to the dealership as soon as you’re ready.

CAN I ARRANGE A LOAN FOR A USED CAR? WHAT ABOUT A CERTIFIED PRE-OWNED VEHICLE?

Yes! We're happy to help you arrange a loan to buy a used car, including a certified pre-owned one.

DO YOU FINANCE LEASES?

No, we only help find lenders for loans to purchase a vehicle or to refinance your existing auto loan.

DO YOU FINANCE MOTORCYCLES, BOATS, OR RVS?

Currently, we only help secure loans for cars or trucks.

DO I HAVE TO MAKE A DOWN PAYMENT?

Whether you need to make a down payment—and how much you should put down—varies by lender. Making a down payment is helpful because it shows lenders you're serious about paying back your car loan. If you can afford to put money down, it also means that you are borrowing less, which means you’ll pay less in interest over the term of your loan.

DOES IT HURT MY CREDIT TO APPLY FOR A LOAN? DO YOU DO A HARD PULL OF MY CREDIT?

We don’t do a hard pull when we pre-qualify you, so your credit score will not be affected. If you choose to apply for one of the loan offers we present to you, the lender you select will need to do a hard pull of your credit. This can reduce your credit score slightly. Most hard pulls conducted around the same time for the same reason will be treated by the credit bureaus as one pull. That means you can shop around for the best car loan for you without worrying about dragging down your credit score.

WHAT IS THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT I CAN BORROW? IS THERE A MINIMUM?

The amount you can borrow depends on your credit, the vehicle you’re buying, and your lender. Most of the time, our lender partners offer loans between $7,500 and $100,000.

WILL I HAVE TO ACCEPT A LOAN IF I'M APPROVED?

No, you don't need to accept any loan that's offered. The choice is always yours.

CAN I APPLY WITH A CO-BORROWER? DO WE HAVE TO LIVE AT THE SAME ADDRESS?

Yes, you can apply with a co-borrower! When you click Apply, we’ll ask you a few questions, including whether you want to apply with a co-borrower. And, yes, lenders like to see that your co-borrower lives at the same address so that they'll know where to find you both and they can be sure that important notices can be read by both of you.

SHOULD I OR DO I NEED TO APPLY WITH A CO-BORROWER?

We’re not credit counselors, so we can’t tell you whether it makes sense for you. In general, applying with a co-borrower may help increase the amount you’re able to borrow and increase your chances of being approved. Lenders consider the ratio of the debts you owe to the income you make in order to determine how much they’re willing to lend to you. If you divide your debts by two incomes instead of one, you may be able to qualify for a better rate, or with more lenders, than if those same debts were divided by just your income.

It’s important that your co-borrower be involved in pre-qualifying and applying for the loan with you. Once you agree to the loan, your co-borrower will be equally responsible with you for paying it off.

WHEN DOES IT MAKE SENSE TO REAPPLY FOR A CAR LOAN? CAN I RE-APPLY IF I’VE BEEN DENIED?

A good time to reapply is when your credit profile improves, like when you get a pay raise or pay down your debts. Also, if you have more cash on hand, you may want to reapply and put it toward a down payment. If you were previously denied credit when you applied by yourself, applying with a co-borrower might also help.

CAN I GET A LOAN IF I'M SELF-EMPLOYED?

Your employment is just one factor our lending partners use to determine loan eligibility, so we encourage you to apply with Outside Financial if you're self-employed.

HOW OLD DO I NEED TO BE TO GET FINANCING?

Each of our lender partners has a different minimum, but it’s usually 18 years old.

WHAT DO I NEED IN ORDER TO APPLY FOR A LOAN?

To start the process, you just need to tell us a little about yourself and the vehicle you’re thinking about buying. If you know the VIN of the vehicle, it will help us to make sure we can get you the right loan package, but don’t worry if you haven’t selected the exact vehicle yet. You can always update your vehicle information later in the process.

Everything else we ask you should be stuff you know, like your name and address, or information you can get from your wallet, like your driver’s license number.

AFTER APPLYING

HOW DOES OUTSIDE FINANCIAL DECIDE WHICH LENDER OFFERS ARE RIGHT FOR ME?

When you provide us a little information about yourself, we compare it to the criteria our lender partners have given us. Our sophisticated decision engine figures out which ones have a high probability of welcoming you as a customer, and we show you up to the three best offers. You pick the one that works best for you. You won’t hear from anyone (other than us) until you’ve chosen to apply with your lender. That way, you don’t have to worry about receiving a ton of phone calls or spam emails from companies you’ve never heard of.

WILL I RECEIVE MULTIPLE LOAN OFFERS?

We try to provide you with up to three great offers from our lending partners for you to choose from. Sometimes we only return one or two matches, but we'll never show you any that we don't think are a good deal for you.

HOW IS MY LOAN OFFER CALCULATED?

Our lending partners make their decisions based on many factors, but the three most important ones are:

  1. Collateral: that is, the vehicle you want to buy or securing the loan you want to refinance;

  2. Credit: meaning your credit history; and

  3. Capacity: your ability to pay back the loan, including the income that you can put toward your monthly loan payments, minus any debts you already owe.

Every lender weighs those factors slightly differently, which is why you might receive offers with different terms. We show you the offers that we think are best for you.

WILL I BE ABLE TO CHANGE THE VEHICLE I WANT TO BUY AFTER I SELECT MY CHOSEN LENDER AND APPLY?

We try to give you as much flexibility as we can. If you change your mind at the dealership, you may be still able to use your pre-approved loan, as long as the car you choose meets the lender’s eligibility requirements. Please keep in mind that lenders make their decisions based on your credit and the type of vehicle you select, so it's possible your loan won't cover every car you fall in love with. The instructions you receive when you're ready to shop will give you more detailed information.

HOW WILL YOU CONTACT ME WITH THE RESPONSE FROM MY LENDER?

You choose! When you set up your account, you can choose to be contacted by email or text message. Also, you can always check the status of any requests or communications in My Account.

CAN I USE MY LOAN AT ANY DEALERSHIP?

At Outside Financial, we value your freedom to choose the dealership and the vehicle that is right for you. Our lender partners are willing to work with most franchised dealerships. Check with your lender for specific eligibility criteria.

CAN I USE MY LOAN TO BUY A VEHICLE FROM A PRIVATE PARTY?

Unfortunately, we don't offer loans to buy a vehicle from a private party at this time.

DOES MY LOAN OFFER EXPIRE?

Loan offers are usually valid for 30 days. After that, lenders will need to review your credit history again. You can always check the details of your offer on My Dashboard.

WHY DIDN’T I RECEIVE ANY PRE-QUALIFIED OFFERS?

Sometimes, we work our hardest, but we’re unable to locate a loan for you from our lender partners. We’re always working to expand our lender network. In the meantime, please use our resources to help you find a great loan elsewhere.

WHY WAS I DENIED BY THE LENDER I CHOSE?

There are times when our lending partners are unable or unwilling to extend a loan based on their internal loan rules. If you received multiple pre-qualified offers, you can choose to apply with one of the other lenders. You can also use our resources to help you find a great loan elsewhere.

CAN I APPLY AGAIN IF I WAS DENIED?

We encourage you to apply again after you've taken steps to improve your chances of approval, such as paying off old debts or partnering with a co-borrower.

AFTER APPROVAL

CAN I CHANGE MY INTEREST RATE?

Most of the time, you will be able to customize your loan to meet your needs. In general, the longer the loan term, the higher the interest rate. However, your interest rate can depend on many factors, and you'll need to consider the specifics and flexibility of your pre-approved loan.

WHAT IS A LOAN TERM, AND CAN I CHANGE IT?

A loan term is the period of time over which you repay your loan in full. Terms for car loans generally range from 36 months (3 years) to 84 months (7 years). The average term for a car loan is a little over 60 months (5 years). While longer loan terms will result in lower monthly payments, remember that the longer the loan term, the longer you pay interest and the more total interest you'll pay.

HOW DO I MAKE MY MONTHLY PAYMENTS?

Please send your monthly payments directly to your lender. Your loan documents will tell you how and where to send your payments. We encourage you to set up autopay to automatically debit your bank account so you can avoid late payments.

WILL I BE ABLE TO PAY OFF MY LOAN EARLY?

Yes, you can completely pay off your loan at any time it makes sense for you. Just contact your lender to find out your exact payoff amount. You can find your lender's contact information in My Dashboard or on the monthly statements you receive from your lender.

WHERE CAN I REGISTER A COMPLAINT ABOUT MY LENDER?

We’re so sorry to hear that you’ve had a bad experience. We expect all of our lending partners to clearly explain all the terms and conditions of your loan, to live up to their obligations, and to treat you fairly. We recommend trying to contact your lender directly to resolve the issue as a first step. We also want to hear about your experience: please contact us.

PERSONAL INFORMATION

HOW DOES OUTSIDE FINANCIAL KEEP MY PERSONAL INFORMATION SECURE? WHAT IS BANK-LEVEL ENCRYPTION?

Outside Financial was founded with a customer and compliance-first approach to business. That's why we follow the same encrpytion standards as your bank, using AES 256-bit encryption. Your data is always stored in accordance with all local, state and federal requirements and industry-best practices to keep it safe and secure. Please visit our Trust & Security page to learn more.

WHY DO YOU NEED MY SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER?

Your Social Security Number allows us and our lender partners to access your credit history and other information we need to offer you the loan that will work best for you. Keep in mind that pre-qualifying for a loan through our site does not affect your credit.

HOW DO YOU USE MY PERSONAL INFORMATION?

We'll only use your personal information to find loan options that are right for you. In the event we’re unable to find a great loan, we may share your information with other trusted lending sources we believe would be interested in helping you find a fair loan, but only with your explicit permission.

PURCHASES: AT THE DEALERSHIP

WHAT DO I NEED TO DO AT THE DEALERSHIP?

After your loan has been approved by your chosen lender, your lender will contact you with detailed instructions.

WHAT IF THE DEALERSHIP SAYS I NEED TO USE THEIR FINANCING?

Remember: you're in control. Dealerships can’t force you to use their financing or to buy products that you don’t want or need—at worst, you can always walk out and find another dealer.

WHAT IF THE DEALERSHIP SAYS THEY NEED TO RUN MY CREDIT?

The dealer does not have to run your credit to sell you a car. Often dealers will ask you for your social security number and other personal information so that they can offer you a loan (including their mark-up). You do not need to give the dealer your social security number if you don’t want to, and you definitely don’t need to accept a loan from a dealership if it’s not the best deal for you.

WHAT IF THE DEALERSHIP OFFERED ME A BETTER LOAN PACKAGE?

There are rare times when a dealership can help get you a better deal on a loan package than we can. Before saying yes to the dealer’s offer, be sure that it’s really a better deal. For example, sometimes dealers will offer you a lower interest rate, but charge much higher prices for a GAP Waiver or Vehicle Service Contract, or add in other products that you don’t want or need. They might also offer a lower monthly payment, but extend your loan term so you end up paying more interest over the length of the loan. After comparing everything , if the dealer's financing is better for you, go ahead and take it! We want you to get the best deal for you, whether it's through us or not.

WHAT IF THE DEALERSHIP SAYS THEY CAN GIVE ME A LOWER INTEREST RATE?

Remember that the interest rate is just one element of a loan. A frequent sales strategy is to offer a lower interest rate while raising the price of your GAP or VSC policy or add in other products that you don’t want or need. If it's truly better for you, go with the dealer's financing. At the end of the day, we want you to get the best deal for you, whether it’s through us or not.

WHAT IF THE DEALERSHIP SOLD THE VEHICLE I WANTED?

If the dealership has another vehicle that’s virtually the same, your loan offer should cover it. Just make sure to coordinate with your chosen lender. If the dealership doesn’t have another similar vehicle, you might want to check out another dealership nearby.

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO TRADE IN MY CAR?

To get the best deal, we recommend you treat your trade-in as a completely separate transaction from the purchase of another car. Tell your dealer that you want to focus on one step at a time. That’s one of the reasons we recommend checking out Carvana’s instant cash offer. Carvana will give you a firm price for your vehicle, then come to your home to pick it up! Click here to learn more.

DOES OUTSIDE FINANCIAL BUY MY TRADE-IN?

No, we don't buy cars at Outside Financial. What we do is give you great advice on how to get the best deal when trading in your old car. Learn more here.

 
 
 

Protection Products


VEHICLE SERVICE CONTRACTS (VSC)

IS A VSC THE SAME THING AS AN EXTENDED WARRANTY?

A vehicle service contract protects you from the cost of repairs that fall outside the coverage of your manufacturer’s warranty. By law, only the original automobile manufacturer can sell you a policy called an “extended warranty.” So while a VSC functions like an extended warranty, technically it can't be called one.

ARE VSCS A SMART PURCHASE? I'VE HEARD THEY'RE A WASTE OF MONEY.

We believe VSCs are good products trapped in a bad price. The bad rap comes because VSCs are often sold at a huge markup at a time when most buyers are overwhelmed with information. But VSCs bought at the right price are great products, especially if they offer you flexibility in where you can repair your vehicle. They can help you budget and prevent you from going into debt over surprise repairs. Learn more about VSCs here to decide if one is right for you.

DOES A VSC COVER ALL REPAIRS?

VSCs are designed to cover unexpected repairs of parts or systems that fall outside of the coverage on your manufacturer’s warranty. VSCs cover a lot, but there are some exceptions. They don't cover ordinary wear and tear, or damage resulting from accidents. You could also void your contract if you don't keep up with basic car maintenance. If you’ve already purchased a VSC policy, you can review your paperwork to find out more detailed information about what’s covered and what maintenance you need to do.

CAN I BUY A VSC FOR A USED CAR?

Yes! Because there may not be a factory warranty on a used vehicle, savvy buyers frequently purchase VSCs to protect their used cars. We think VSCs can be a smart purchase if bought at the right price from the right company.

WHO PAYS THE MECHANIC?

Most VSC policies have a small deductible. If your policy does, you will need to pay it directly to the mechanic. Your VSC administrator will cover the balance. You can find out more information about your policy in the paperwork you received from your VSC administrator. If you have other questions about your VSC policy, please reach out to your administrator directly. Their contact information should be found on your policy paperwork. 

HOW AND WHEN DO I NEED TO FILE A VSC CLAIM?

It’s always best to file a claim as soon as possible. Some repairs require pre-approval from your VSC provider, so be sure to follow the instructions on your VSC policy. If you have additional questions, please contact your VSC provider directly.

WHAT MAINTENANCE DO I NEED TO PERFORM TO ENSURE MY VSC IS VALID?

To protect your investment and ensure your vehicle stays dependable, you need to keep up with scheduled maintenance. It’s the best way to keep your car on the road as long as possible and keep your end of the bargain with your VSC provider. Check out the specifics of your policy in your policy paperwork.

IF I SELL MY CAR, IS MY VSC TRANSFERABLE TO THE NEW OWNER?

It depends. Sometimes you can transfer your VSC to the new owner, but you'll need to check the language in your VSC policy to make sure. You may be charged a small fee to make the transfer.

CAN I CANCEL MY VSC?

Yes, you can cancel your VSC at any time. You need to contact your VSC administrator to discuss your options. Depending on when you cancel, you may receive a partial refund. Keep in mind that if you paid for your VSC with your loan, the refund may go directly to your lender.

IF I’M REFINANCING AND I ALREADY HAVE A VSC, DO I NEED TO BUY A NEW ONE?

No, refinancing your loan shouldn’t affect your VSC. If you got a bad deal on it, refinancing is a great time to cancel your old policy for a partial refund, which you can use to buy a new contract at a better price.

GAP (GUARANTEED ASSET PROTECTION) WAIVERS

WHAT DOES GAP COVER?

GAP protects you from a big financial hit when you can least afford it. If your vehicle is stolen or totaled, you’ll still owe your lender the full amount they lent you, but chances are your insurance company will only pay you the current value of the car. You’re on the hook for the gap in between. GAP waivers cover that difference, which can add up to thousands of dollars.

IS GAP AVAILABLE FOR USED CARS?

Yes, GAP is available for used cars.

IF I'M LATE ON MY LOAN PAYMENTS, HOW WILL THAT AFFECT MY GAP WAIVER?

GAP doesn’t cover late payments before your car was lost or stolen, so you’re still responsible for those. However, GAP should cover the difference between the value of your car and what you owe on your loan, which could save you thousands of dollars.

WHEN SHOULD I FILE A GAP CLAIM?

We’re sorry to hear that you might need to access your GAP coverage. In general, it’s best to file a claim right away, within the first few days at the latest. The contact information for your provider can be found on your policy paperwork.

CAN I CANCEL MY GAP POLICY AT ANY TIME?

Yes, you can cancel your GAP waiver at any time and you may be entitled to a partial refund. You need to contact your GAP administrator to discuss your options. Keep in mind that if you paid for your GAP waiver with your loan, the refund may go directly to your lender.

IF I SELL MY CAR, IS MY GAP WAIVER TRANSFERABLE TO THE NEW OWNER?

No. Because your GAP waiver covers your loan, when you pay off the loan, your GAP coverage ends. You may be entitled to a partial refund – check out your old policy for more details.

IF I’M REFINANCING AND I ALREADY HAVE A GAP WAIVER, DO I NEED TO BUY A NEW ONE?

Yes. Because your GAP waiver covers your loan, when you pay off your old loan, your GAP coverage ends. You may be entitled to a partial refund – check out your old policy for more details.

You might want to consider purchasing a new GAP waiver to cover your new loan.

You can find out lots more information about GAP waivers here.