Caribou Auto Loan Refinancing: 2024 Review

Caribou offers auto loan refinancing through a network of lenders. Borrowers receive several pre-qualified offers for comparison.
Last updated on July 3, 2024
Written by 
Lead Writer
Julie Myhre-Nunes
Edited by 
Fact Checked
Assigning Editor
Fact Checked
Shannon Bradley
Written by 
Lead Writer
Julie Myhre-Nunes
Edited by 
Fact Checked
Assigning Editor
Fact Checked

Many, or all, of the products featured on this page are from our advertising partners who compensate us when you take certain actions on our website or click to take an action on their website. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

  • 45+ auto loan products reviewed and rated by our team of experts.
  • 30+ years of combined experience covering financial topics.
  • Objective, comprehensive star rating system assessing 4 categories and 60+ data points across direct lenders and aggregators.
  • Governed by NerdWallet's strict guidelines for editorial integrity.
NerdWallet's auto loans content, including articles, reviews and recommendations, is produced by a team of writers and editors who specialize in consumer lending. Their work has appeared in Nasdaq, MSN, MarketWatch, Yahoo! Finance and other national and regional media outlets. They have also appeared on NerdWallet's "Smart Money" podcast.

Auto loan reviews

Caribou
Auto loan refinancing
The Nerdy headline:

Best for borrowers wanting to see pre-qualified refinancing offers with rates from more than one lender.

Auto loan refinancing review

Caribou
Caribou - Refinance loan

4.0
NerdWallet rating
Est. APR
5.99-28.55%
Loan amount
$10,000 - $125,000
Min. credit score
580
on Caribou's website

Pros

  • Pre-qualification with a soft credit check is available to all applicants.

  • Works with a network of lenders to show multiple offers.

  • Social Security number not required to pre-qualify.

  • Customer support available seven days a week.

  • Application process 100% online including document upload and possible prefill of current vehicle information.

Cons

  • Charges an origination/processing fee of $499.

  • 24-month or shorter loan term not available.

  • Only some lending partners offer rate discount for automatic payments.

Best for borrowers wanting a simple application process to see pre-qualified auto refinancing rates.

Full Review of Caribou

Caribou partners with a network of lenders, mainly community banks and credit unions, to provide auto loan refinancing. It does not offer auto purchase loans.

Caribou finds the best lender matches within its network for each applicant. Using a soft credit check, Caribou presents pre-qualified offers with rates, usually within minutes of application submission. Pre-qualification is not approval. Once an offer is selected and submitted, Caribou or the lender will do a hard credit pull, which can affect applicant credit scores.

When compared to similar auto loan aggregators, Caribou stands out for having a simple application process. The online application asks for minimal information and does not require a Social Security Number to see pre-qualified offers.

When you refinance through Caribou, it works with the lender to pay off your previous loan and retitle your vehicle. Support is available seven days a week by phone and email, and you can schedule a phone appointment on the Caribou website.

🤓

Nerdy Tip

Caribou is an auto loan aggregator, meaning it works with a network of lenders to match borrowers to loans. Aggregators can connect you to several lenders with one application. However, you should be aware that aspects of your loan — such as fees, customer service and how your personal information is used — will depend on the lender.

Table of contents

Caribou at a glance

Caribou works with many different lenders, so the information provided here is general and can reflect the high or low end available among its lending partners.

Minimum credit score

580.

Minimum credit history

12 months.

Minimum annual gross income

$24,000.

Maximum debt-to-income ratio

60%.

Maximum loan-to-value ratio

120%.

Loan terms

36-84 months.

Co-applicants allowed?

Co-signers and co-borrowers allowed.

Pre-qualification or preapproval offered?

Offers pre-qualification with a soft credit check.

Origination/processing fee?

All borrowers have a fee of $499.

Rate discount offered?

Yes, but only five lending partners offer an interest rate discount with automatic payments. Discount amount is usually 0.25%.

States covered

Not available in MD, MS, NE, NV and WV.

    • Maximum vehicle age: 10 years.

    • Maximum vehicle mileage: 125,000 miles.

    • Other vehicle restrictions: Does not refinance commercial use vehicles.

    • Loan amount minimum: $10,000.

    • Loan amount maximum: $125,000.

    • Maximum loan-to-value ratio: 120%.

    • Refinance time restrictions: Will refinance as soon as the previous loan's paperwork is complete and the title can be transferred.

    • Bankruptcy restrictions: No more than one public record bankruptcy and 24 months or more since the bankruptcy discharge.

    • Approval speed: Pre-qualification is immediate in most cases, but the speed of loan approval depends on the lender the borrower is assigned to. Offers are good for 30 days.

    • Initial deferred payment: Up to 90 days.

    • Existing loan payoff: Funds are sent directly to the previous lender, electronically if possible. Otherwise by check.

    • Selected payment due date: Borrowers can select a first payment day at the contracting step.

    • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 60%.

    • Hardship plans: Does not know if lending partners offer hardship options.

    • Contact options: Phone, email. Offers call scheduling on its website.

    • Availability: Mon-Fri 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Sat-Sun 9 a.m.-4 p.m. ET.

    • Online resources: Offers a resource center with a learning library of auto-related articles, an auto refi calculator, a savings by vehicle tool, an auto refinance glossary of terms and auto refinancing FAQs.

    • Related services: Offers total loss protection (gap insurance), vehicle service contracts, key replacement and cosmetic protection. If purchased, these can be rolled into the auto loan for an additional price.

Caribou may be a good fit for those who:

  • Want to compare auto refinancing rates. Applicants receive pre-qualified refinancing offers, including rate, without an impact to their credit scores.

  • Prefer a simple online application process. Caribou’s process is 100% digital, from application to document upload and e-signing. In most cases, Caribou also works with the lender to handle the transfer of your vehicle title.

  • Could benefit from having a co-applicant. Caribou can match applicants to lenders that allow both co-signers and co-borrowers. Having a co-applicant can help borrowers who might not qualify alone.

Do you qualify for a Caribou auto loan?

Caribou’s basic eligibility requirements to apply for an auto refinance include the following:

  • Must be at least 18 years old.

Here are Caribou’s minimum borrower requirements to qualify for an auto loan. Note that meeting these requirements doesn’t guarantee approval. However, since aggregators work with a network of various lenders, some may be more flexible with minimum requirements when considering an applicant's total financial picture.

  • Minimum credit score: 580.

  • Minimum credit history: 12 months.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 60%.

  • Minimum annual income: $24,000.

Before you apply for auto refinancing

Check your credit. You can get your free credit report on NerdWallet or at AnnualCreditReport.com. If you find errors, file a credit dispute to correct them before you apply for an auto loan.

Figure what monthly payment you can afford. Use an auto refinance calculator to determine what APR and repayment term you need to get monthly car payments that fit your budget. An auto refinance calculator also shows how much you can save by refinancing.

Gather your documents and information. Caribou requires the following to submit an initial auto loan refinancing application: address, phone, email, birthdate, employment status, income, housing payment amount and basic vehicle information. Driver’s license number or vehicle identification number isn’t required with the initial application, but you can provide it for automatic lookup of your vehicle information.

How to apply for a Caribou auto refinance loan

  1. Pre-qualify on Caribou's website. Use the “Get Started” button to pre-qualify with a soft credit pull, which will not affect your credit scores. You’ll be asked for information like employment status, income, housing information and basic details about your current car. You can enter your car’s make and model yourself, or you can search using your car’s VIN or license plate number to automatically pull information into the application. Caribou also has the option to apply by phone at 877-445-0070.

  2. See your loan offers. If you pre-qualify, you will see on-screen loan offers within minutes. You can select an offer, provide your Social Security number, set up an account and lock in the refinance rate. This will result in a hard credit inquiry and could cause a slight, temporary drop in your credit scores. If you have questions, Caribou customer service is available by phone and email.

  3. Stay on top of your loan payments. According to Caribou, all of its lending partners report loan payments to the three major credit bureaus, so on-time payments will help build your credit score, but missed payments will hurt it. Setting up automatic payments if available is a good way to make sure your payments arrive by the due date.

How auto loan rates work and how we collect them

The auto loan APR range NerdWallet displays is provided by the aggregator. We make every attempt to keep rates updated, by sending out bimonthly rate surveys and encouraging aggregators to send us updates when rates change. We also compare these rates to APRs on the aggregator's website, if available. The accuracy of our rates depends on the information aggregators provide to us. It’s always a good idea to check average auto loan interest rates, and compare to similar aggregators or lenders, to determine if the provided rate seems realistic.

We ask aggregators to provide the lowest rate among their lending partners without including any potential rate discounts. We also ask that the provided rate be one that at least 10% of applicants applying for the lowest rate have qualified for in the previous three months. The lowest rates shown are typically available only to borrowers with good or excellent credit (a FICO score of 690 and above).

We also ask aggregators for the highest rate among their lending partners, which typically reflects rates available to borrowers with fair or bad credit (a FICO score in the mid-600s or below). The highest interest rates result in higher monthly payments and more total interest paid.

Actual rates received by this aggregator’s auto loan borrowers may be different from the rates shown in this review.

How do we review auto loan aggregators?

NerdWallet's review process surveys companies that offer any combination of new car purchase loans, used car purchase loans, auto refinance loans (traditional and/or cash-out) and lease buyout loans. These companies include direct lenders and aggregators; the latter group doesn't have in-house loan products but matches borrowers to third-party lenders within a network. Our aim is to provide an independent assessment of providers to help arm you with information to make sound, informed judgements on which ones will best meet your needs. We adhere to strict guidelines for editorial integrity.

Because aggregators are not the actual lender and servicing of the loan passes to the lender in most cases, NerdWallet focuses most heavily on the front end of the loan process. This includes level of service/support and transparency, with less focus on the actual loan product. In all, our survey for aggregators includes more than 60 data points. NerdWallet independently confirms product details and, when necessary, follows up with company representatives. At least two writers and an editor verify the facts for every lender review to ensure data are accurate.

To receive a star rating, an aggregator must respond to NerdWallet’s annual auto loans survey. Star ratings are then assessed from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars).

For more details about the categories considered when rating aggregators and our process, read our full methodology.

Compare refinance
Lender
Est. APR
Loan amount
Min. credit score
RefiJet
5.0
Visit Lenderon RefiJet's website
on RefiJet's website
5.29- 21.99%
$5,000- $150,000
500
5.49- 29.90%
$5,000- $100,000
600
4.99- 17.99%
$3,000- $250,000
500
Visit Lenderon Gravity Lending's website
on Gravity Lending's website
5.99- 28.55%
$10,000- $125,000
580
Consumers Credit Union
Visit Lenderon Consumers Credit Union's website
on Consumers Credit Union's website
6.24- 17.54%
No min.- $100,000
600
Visit Lenderon Consumers Credit Union's website
on Consumers Credit Union's website
View more

Save on Your Car

Find a car loanRefinance a car loanCalculate car paymentsGet car insurance quotes

Frequently asked questions

  • Caribou, formerly MotoRefi, is an auto loan refinancing company based in Washington, D.C. The company was founded in 2016. Online customer reviews tend to be positive.

  • Caribou may use your personal information for it or its subsidiaries to market auto-related products to you. The Caribou privacy policy states the company does not sell personal information about you to third parties strictly for the other party’s benefit and use. You can opt out of receiving promotional emails, texts and calls from Caribou, with instructions for doing so available in the Caribou privacy policy.

    Caribou’s privacy policy also states that the third parties they share information with to obtain your loan offers may have their own privacy policies. Borrowers should be familiar with those third party privacy policies and how they can opt out if desired.

NerdWallet Pixel