Q: Where did you get my information and credit report from?
A: Credit reporting agencies, such as Equifax and Experian, provide promotional marketing lists of people who meet certain predetermined credit criteria (just names and addresses—not your entire credit file). This is a common form of direct marketing—credit card and mortgage offers are good examples of these types of promotions. We do direct marketing through these credit agencies with some of the lenders in our network. Please note that these types of promotions do not show up on your credit report and do not affect your credit score.
Q: Is a credit check required?
A: Yes. The only way to find the best interest rate to refinance your auto loan is for the lender to make an inquiry into your credit history.
Q: Will my credit score be affected when rateGenius accesses my complete credit report to evaluate the creditworthiness of my application?
A: When you submit an application to rateGenius, rateGenius will pull your credit history. This is referred to as a "hard inquiry." This may cause a slight change in your credit score. However, when you refinance your auto loan through rateGenius, your credit improves when your current auto loan is paid in full. If you have applied for too many new accounts recently, those may negatively affect your score.
Q: Did it hurt my credit score when you sent an unsolicited offer for refinance to me?
A: No. A credit inquiry by rateGenius for a prescreened offer is considered a "soft inquiry" by the credit reporting agency. The soft inquiry is used for marketing purposes only. This means your credit score is not affected.
Q: Will all the lenders in the rateGenius network check my credit?
A: No. One or two may look into your credit history after rateGenius has made the initial credit check.
Q: Will multiple inquiries for refinance hurt my score?
A: Because of new credit regulations passed in 2004, you can make multiple inquiries related to a single transaction and your score will not be affected any further as long as the additional inquiries are made within 14 days of the initial credit check.
Q: Do you share or sell any of my information?
A: Any information collected by rateGenius is only distributed to authorized agents or lenders within the rateGenius network, or as may be required by federal or state law or by court order. Otherwise, rateGenius will not sell or share any personal information in regards to yourself or with any person or organization without your authorization.
Q: I know my credit score. Is it still necessary to pull my credit?
A: Because credit scores can change without notice, an inquiry into your credit history is still necessary in order to find the best interest rate possible. Also, your score is only part of your credit file; lenders look at your full credit history before creating their offers.
Q: Can you tell me my credit score or send me a copy of my report?
A: Under federal law, you have the right to obtain a free copy of your credit report from each of the nationwide consumer reporting agencies once a year. You can order a copy of your credit report by calling toll-free at 877-322-8228 or online by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com. RateGenius and any lender who pulls your credit is also required to send a notice of your credit score and reasons surrounding the approval or decline of your auto refinance application. These notices will be sent to you 5–7 business days after a decision on your application has been made, and a copy of your credit score disclosure notice will also be included in your loan package. If you receive a prescreened offer from a rateGenius mailer and you do not submit an application, you will not receive a credit notice.
Don't see your question answered here? Visit our other FAQ pages for more information about rateGenius' vehicle products: