Caribou auto loans review: Refinancing options for people with decent credit

A woman looking out of a car.Image: A woman looking out of a car.

Editors’ take: An auto refinance loan from Caribou could be a good fit for people with decent credit — and an excellent option for people with recent credit score increases looking to refinance a relatively new vehicle. Recently rebranded from MotoRefi, Caribou is available in 44 states and offers a competitive starting APR for well-qualified borrowers, as well as a marketplace to shop for auto insurance.


Caribou auto loans at a glance

Starting APR

1.99% (lower than many other lenders)

Loan amounts

Not disclosed

Loan terms

36 to 72 months in most cases

Minimum credit scores required

650

Loan fees

$399 processing fee

Prepayment penalty

Not disclosed

Availability

Available in 44 states

Ability to apply for prequalification?

Yes

How to apply

Online

Other requirements

Applicants must be at least 18 years old to qualify; Vehicle must have less than 120,000 miles and be 10 years old or newer

Note: You may see different terms if you apply on Credit Karma.

Pros

  • Prequalify without providing a Social Security number
  • Ability to add a co-borrower
  • Help shopping for auto insurance

Cons

  • High minimum credit score requirements
  • Loans not available in all states
  • Not a direct lender

What you need to know about Caribou auto loans

Prequalify without providing a Social Security number

You can check an estimated interest rate and see if you’re likely to qualify for an auto refinance loan with Caribou without needing to disclose your Social Security number.

You’ll just need to provide information about yourself, your current vehicle loan and your car. This will allow Caribou to match you with loan offers. Of course, the information you provide needs to be accurate: If you decide to move forward with a loan, Caribou will ask for your Social Security number to check your credit and verify everything you’ve sent in.

Offers auto insurance partners and additional coverage options

In addition to auto loans, Caribou offers auto insurance through partnerships with carriers — as well as several add-on coverage products that you can get with a refinance loan. Caribou offers key replacement coverage, cosmetic damage coverage and guaranteed asset protection, which can protect you in the event of a total loss.

High minimum credit score requirement

You’ll need a credit score of 650 to qualify for an auto refinance loan with Caribou. This requirement may be higher than what you’d find at other lenders, so you may want to look elsewhere if you need to refinance with bad credit.

State availability

Caribou refinance loans are not available in Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, Wisconsin or West Virginia.

Who can get the best auto refinance rates with Caribou?

Caribou advertises auto refinance loan rates as low as 1.99%, but not all borrowers will qualify for this rate. Your credit scores and your car’s current value will determine your rate. To qualify for the lowest rates with Caribou, you’ll likely need to have strong credit and be refinancing a newer vehicle that doesn’t have too many miles on its record.

Additionally, Caribou says its lowest rates are only available to borrowers with 36- and 48-month repayment terms in the following states:

  • Alabama
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia

What types of vehicles can I refinance with Caribou?

Caribou will refinance most personal passenger vehicles, including cars, trucks and SUVs. The company doesn’t offer refinance loans for motorcycles or commercial vehicles.

Not sure if Caribou is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

  • Upgrade auto loan: If you live in a state where Caribou doesn’t lend, you may consider an auto refinance with Upgrade. This company offers loans in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., with fixed rates and no prepayment penalties.
  • RefiJet auto loan: RefiJet offers a simple prequalification process — and offers refinances loans for motorcycles.

About the author: Andrew Dunn is a veteran journalist with more than a decade of experience as a reporter and editor at North Carolina news organizations, including the Charlotte Observer and the StarNews in Wilmington. In those roles,… Read more.