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This website is an informative comparison site that aims to offer its users find helpful information regarding the products and offers that will be suitable for their needs. We are able to maintain a free, high-quality service by receiving advertising fees from the brands and service providers we review on this website (though we may also review brands we are not engaged with). These advertising fees, combined with our criteria and methodology, such as the conversion rates, our team of reviewer's finding and subjective experience and product popularity, impact the placement and position of the brands within the comparison table. In the event rating or scoring are assigned by us, they are based on the position in the comparison table, or according to other formula in the event specifically detailed by us. See our How we Rate page and Terms of Use for information. The reviews, rating and scoring are provided “as-is” without guaranties or warranties regarding the information contained in our website, which shall not be considered as endorsement. We make the best efforts to keep the information up-to-date, however, an offer’s terms might change at any time. We do not compare or include all service providers, brands and offers available in the market.

Caribou Review

Matthew Levy Matthew Levy Last update:
Est. APR
3.49-36%
Max loan
$150,000
Term
24-80

Caribou Financial Inc is a DC-based auto refinance platform that started in September 2016. Caribou was initially called MotoRefi Inc. and was rebranded in 2021.

The company connects auto loan borrowers with local and national lenders like PenFed Credit Union, Green State Credit Union, Hughes Federal Credit Union, Beneficial State Bank, etc., in a fully digital ecosystem. You can get pre-qualified refi offers+ quickly without affecting your credit score or sharing your SSN.++

The brand aims to reduce car loan payments by $100* monthly for its borrowers. Caribou makes it possible by sourcing affordable credit from local community banks and credit unions that otherwise lack access to the loan market.

You may be able to save on add-on prices by bundling add-ons like auto insurance, warranty extension, key replacement, and cosmetic damage coverage. The company handles every aspect of car loan processing, from credit checking to title change. Caribou is available in all US states except MA, MD, MS, NE, NV, WI, and WV.

Data chart

Car loan types  Auto Refinance
Loan amount   $5,000-$150,000
Repayment terms   24-80 months
APR  3.49-36%**
Minimum credit score 650
Lender type  Marketplace

Good for

  • Low APR loans for up to $150,000
  • Refinancing available for sports cars, trucks, and SUVs
  • Quick online process with humanized customer support
  • Refinancing for a longer term (more than 36 months)
  • May release/include co-borrower for lower APR and better terms
  • Vehicles with less than 10 years on the road & less than 100,000 miles

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Low starting APR at 3.49%**
  • Minimum income criteria of $24,000
  • Add-on services to preserve vehicle value

Cons

  • Customer support can be slow during peak hours
  • No new car loans or motorcycle refinance
  • Flat $399 fee for all Refi loans

Application Process

Caribou has created a smooth digital journey for borrowers where they can review and select refinance offers with minimal information. The three-stage process is quick and straightforward. You can get pre-qualified offers within minutes. The whole process, from start to finish, takes about 14 business days.

Get Pre-Qualified Offers

You need to share the following information in the Caribou online portal to get pre-qualified refinance offers:

  • Personal Information of Lender and Co-Borrower: Name, Date of Birth, Phone Number, Address, Email, Residency status.
  • Financing Information: Loan amount, Current Loan Payment, Vehicle Mileage
  • Vehicle Information: You can find your car through VIN/License Plate/Make or Model with easy-to-use dropboxes.
  • Residence Information: Owned/Rented, Mortgage Payment/Rent, How long staying in current address, Employment Status, Annual Income.

You may release your old co-signer to add a new co-borrower while refinancing your car. If you don’t specify your vehicle VIN or license plate, you may need to share your++ Social Security Number (SSN)++ to complete the application process. Caribou uses JD Power and CarFax services for finding and valuing your vehicle. Caribou may store and share your personal information for operations, legal, and marketing purposes.

  • pre-qualification includes a “soft credit pull.” This will not impact your credit score+.

Pick the Refinance Deal that Suits You

Once you submit your refi application for a soft-credit check+, you will get a list of all available refinance deals and add-on services. The Caribou dashboard is user-friendly and shows you intuitive metrics like projected monthly savings, reduction in monthly payments, new APR, refinance terms, total loan payment till term end, etc.

Optionally, you can also purchase GAP coverage, warranty extension, key replacement, cosmetic damage coverage, etc.

If you can find a lower APR with better terms than your current auto loan, lock in your rate by creating an account with Caribou. Caribou pre-qualified offers are valid for 45 days, during which you can proceed with online document verification.

Seal the Deal

A hard credit pull is conducted at this stage which can affect your credit score+. Caribou lets you upload scanned documents from your smartphone and digitally sign the loan agreement with DocuSign.

After document verification, the company does everything from paying off your previous lender to issuing a new title. The platform charges a $399 document handling fee to save you a trip to the DMV.

Depending on the lender you choose and your residence state, Caribou may ask for the following documents.

  • Social Security Card, Green Card, Work Visa
  • Drivers License
  • Vehicle Registration Documents
  • Vehicle Insurance
  • Photograph of odometer for mileage proof
  • Proof of Income
  • Phone Bill
  • Mortgage Payment Documents

Terms & Requirements

Caribou is best suited for converting high APR auto loans from car dealerships into low APR, long-term loans. Caribou gives tough competition to refinance leaders like RateGenius and myAutoLoan, even with its limited network of lenders and partner insurers.

On average, borrowers saved an average of 5.07%+++ on their interest rate by refinancing through Caribou. Nevertheless, there is no guarantee of savings, your actual savings, if any, may vary.
The platform does not offer much in terms of repayment flexibility. Most lenders on Caribou do not offer autopay discounts and charge pre-closure fees on their products.

Loan Requirements

  • Residency Requirements – US Citizen, Permanent Resident, Non-Permanent Resident, Non-Permanent Alien
  • States – All states except MA, MD, MS, NE, NV, WI, and WV.
  • Credit score requirements – FICO scores above 650
  • Debt-to-income ratio – Below 0.35
  • Minimum Annual income – $24,000
  • Maximum Vehicle Age – 10 years
  • Maximum Vehicle Mileage – 120,000 miles (gas)/175,000 miles (diesel)

Loan Terms

  • Type of Loan – Car Refinance
  • Min/Max Loan amount – $5,000-$150,000
  • Min/Max Loan terms – 24-80 months
  • APR Range – 3.49%-36%**
  • Interest Rate – Varies by lender
  • Co-Signer – Can add up to 1 Co-Borrower

Repayment Terms

  • Loan Payments – Monthly
  • Prepayment Penalty – Depends on Lenders
  • Forbearance/Deferment – Depends on Lenders

Privacy & Security

Caribou is accredited by Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating and scores 4.5 stars on Trustpilot. The brand enjoys positive reviews on review platforms and is responsive to complaints in consumer forums. Caribou may store and share your personal information for marketing purposes.

Customer Support

Caribou provides customer support through live chat, phone, and email. We found some complaints of delayed customer support on online forums. However, the brand was responsible enough to respond to these complaints.

Refinance Services 

Phone – 1.877.445.0070

Email – contact@gocaribou.com

Timing – Mon – Fri: 9am – 8pm EST and Sat – Sun: 9am – 4pm EST

Insurance Services

Phone – 1.877.255.2660

Email – insurance@gocaribou.com

Timing – Mon – Fri: 9am – 8pm ET

Final Thoughts

Caribou can be a great place to compare refi rates without a hard pull+ on your credit. The borrower’s digital journey through the brand is frictionless, transparent, and relatively fast. You can scout for better rates by combining products that protect your vehicle value with your refinance deal.

Caribou mainly operates with local banks and credit unions, and you may not find many national lenders on the platform. Your final refi deal depends a lot on your residence state.

Address

Caribou Financial Inc

1717 Rhode Island Ave, NW, Suite 500 Washington, DC 20036

 

Disclaimers:

* This information is estimated based on consumers who were approved for an auto refinance loan through Caribou on or after 1/1/2022, had an existing auto loan on their credit report, and accepted their final terms. As of 4/30/2022, borrowers who refinance save an average of $101.54 per month. Refinance savings may result from a lower interest rate, longer term, or both. There is no guarantee of savings. Your actual savings, if any, may vary based on interest rates, the repayment term, the amount financed, and other factors.
** APR is the Annual Percentage Rate. Your actual APR may be different. Your APR is based on multiple factors including your credit profile and the loan to value of the vehicle. APR ranges from 3.49% to 36.00% and is determined at the time of application. Lowest APR is available to borrowers with excellent credit and only in certain states. Advertised rates and fees are valid as of 7/21/2022 and are subject to change without notice. Lowest rate of 3.49% APR only available with up to 36-month repayment term. Insurance savings will not result from lower APR.
+ To check the refinance rates and terms you qualify for, we conduct a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a loan product and continue your application, we or one of our lending partners will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.
++ Social security number is required should you choose to move forward in the loan application process.
+++ As of 6/1/2022, borrowers saved an average of 5.07% on their interest rate. There is no guarantee of savings. Your actual savings, if any, may vary.

Disclosure
This website is an informative comparison site that aims to offer its users find helpful information regarding the products and offers that will be suitable for their needs. We are able to maintain a free, high-quality service by receiving advertising fees from the brands and service providers we review on this website (though we may also review brands we are not engaged with). These advertising fees, combined with our criteria and methodology, such as the conversion rates, our team of reviewer's finding and subjective experience and product popularity, impact the placement and position of the brands within the comparison table. In the event rating or scoring are assigned by us, they are based on the position in the comparison table, or according to other formula in the event specifically detailed by us. See our How we Rate page and Terms of Use for information. The reviews, rating and scoring are provided “as-is” without guaranties or warranties regarding the information contained in our website, which shall not be considered as endorsement. We make the best efforts to keep the information up-to-date, however, an offer’s terms might change at any time. We do not compare or include all service providers, brands and offers available in the market.
Matthew Levy Matthew Levy
Matthew is a freelance financial copywriter with 10+ years in financial services. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics with business and finance options and is a CFA Charterholder. He is from Vancouver, Canada, but writes from all over the world.
This review is based on the writer's personal opinion.