Good for: average credit applicants looking for hands-on help with vehicle transfer paperwork
Innovative Funding Services works with a network of lender partners to provide auto loans for refinancing, lease buyouts and company vehicle purchases. It even refinances higher-end brands of motorcycles. However, the company does not offer dealer purchase loans.
IFS is a good fit for those who:
- Have credit scores of at least 550 and make at least $1,500 a month
- Don’t mind the hard credit inquiry required to provide a rate quote
- Want help handling the paperwork for loan approval and vehicle ownership transfers
IFS auto loans at a glance
|APR*||2.49% - 23.99%|
|Loan amounts||$5,000 - $100,000|
|Minimum requirements||Credit score: 550
|Hard credit check with application?||Yes|
|Availability||All 50 states|
IFS review details
IFS specializes in helping people secure loans for car refinancing, lease buyouts or purchasing a company vehicle. The company also provides expert vehicle registry services and help completing the necessary paperwork for transferring ownership, often saving borrowers a trip to the department of motor vehicles.
The application requires a hard credit inquiry, which slightly lowers your credit score, to provide a pre-approved loan offer. This means it’s best for serious shoppers who intend to get a loan. However, “the impact of a hard score pull is nominal and is far outweighed by the amount of lenders it opens up for the consumer,” says Chief Operating Officer Rob McKie.
Car loan rates
The lowest rate on auto loans from IFS is 2.49%. Customers get an average rate of 4.5% and have an average credit score of 640, according to the company. This is lower than the average rates for borrowers with credit scores between 601 and 660. In the fourth quarter of 2017, these “nonprime” borrowers saw average rates of 6.8% for new car loans and 10% for used car loans, according to Experian’s State of the Automotive Finance Market report.
However, as with all advertised rates, the lowest ones are only available to borrowers with very strong credit. Lenders set their own requirements, but excellent credit is generally considered 720 or better, while 690 to 719 is good.
Keep in mind that with average or below-average credit you won’t get the lowest interest rates, which means your monthly payment and total interest paid will be more. If you know your credit score, you can get an idea of the rate you might qualify for.
Applying to IFS
- Requires a Social Security number for preapproval
- No application fee; late payment fees vary by lender
- Borrowers are not obligated to select an offer; loan approvals valid for 20 days
- Funding methods vary by lender; loan documents are signed electronically or shipped overnight for your signature
- Co-signers allowed
- Available in all 50 states
- Maximum vehicle age: 10 years
- Maximum vehicle mileage: 100,000 miles; some lenders allow higher mileage, but this might require a higher credit score
- Loan terms: 36 to 84 months (NerdWallet doesn’t recommend loans over 60 months)
- Vehicle restrictions and requirements vary by lender
- Must have owned the car for at least 6 months
How IFS compares
IFS’s specialty in offering loans to buy company cars is unlike other lenders we reviewed. Additionally, the company spokesman emphasized the hands-on help IFS finance advisors provide in the complicated process of transferring vehicle ownership. IFS has midrange minimum income and credit score requirements compared to other lenders we reviewed, such as Lending Club on the low end of the spectrum, and Autopay on the high end.
The table below shows how IFS compares to other auto refinance lenders. Some companies provide loans directly, while others shop for loans for you from a network of lender partners.
|Company||Minimum FICO||Minimum monthly income||Loan amount||Maximum vehicle age/mileage||Hard credit pull?|
|MyAutoloan||500||$1,100||$7,500 - $100,000||10 yrs / 125,000 mi||Yes|
|OpenRoad Lending||500||$1,500||$10,000 - $100,000||10 yrs / 150,000 mi||Yes|
|SpringboardAuto.com||500||$2,000||$7,500 - $45,000||10 yrs /|
|Lending Club||510||No restriction||$5,000 - $55,000||10 yrs / 120,000 mi||No|
|RateGenius||525||$2,000||$10,000 - $90,000||10 yrs / 100,000 mi||Yes|
|IFS||550||$1,500||$5,000 - $100,000||10 yrs / 100,000 mi||Yes|
|Autopay||600||$2,000||$5,000 - $100,000||11 yrs / 125,000 mi||No|
|LightStream||660||No restriction||$5,000 - $100,000||No restriction||Yes|
More from IFS
IFS offers additional products that can be rolled into its loans, such as gap insurance, tire and wheel protection, and service protection plans. The company will also refinance higher-end bikes such as Harley-Davidsons and Honda Cruisers.
The IFS website has numerous educational resources, including a blog, a car loan calculator and answers to frequently asked questions. It also has articles on refinancing, leasing and purchasing company cars, for prospective borrowers wanting to better understand these transactions.
Shopping for an auto loan
More from NerdWallet
To review IFS, NerdWallet collected more than 24 data points from the lender, interviewed the company’s chief operating officer, reviewed the online loan application, and compared the lender with others that seek the same customer or offer a similar product.