Few people today would start house-hunting without first getting pre-approved for their mortgage.
Andrew Lemoine, Car Loans Canada CEO, wonders why shopping for a car should be any different?
After spending his career in auto sales, Lemoine was ready to give Canadians a new way – a better way – of buying a car.
“I saw first-hand the panic people go through when they’re shopping for a new vehicle,” Lemoine says. “They go through the search, the test drive and the negotiation… It always seemed odd that the financial component comes in right at the end of the process.”
Even people with good credit can be worried about what might crop up in the credit search. After all, while many Canadians have great credit, 74 per cent of Canadians don’t know what their credit score is, and 54 per cent have never checked their credit score, Lemoine notes.
The good news? “Through technology and the internet, today we can make this process a lot easier for Canadians.
A new way of looking at the process
Car Loans Canada works with forward-thinking dealerships across Canada, and some of the country’s top lenders, to make vehicle shopping an easier and more comfortable experience all around.
And with Millennials comprising 40 per cent of people shopping for vehicles by 2020, their familiarity with technology and conducting business online makes this option a natural.
“We’re starting to see a wave of new thinking, open to technology and transparency, to get people approved online or over the phone before they step onto the lot,” Lemoine says, adding the education Car Loans Canada provides is also about addressing the stigma that comes with previous credit challenges – something many of us will experience at one time or another.
Here’s how it works:
- Once you reach out online, you’ll be contacted via text, email or phone to start the approval process. At that point you’ll be asked for a general idea of the vehicle you’re looking for, in addition to some basic personal details, recognizing that your privacy and information security is essential, Lemoine says. The service is free for consumers as fees are paid by dealers.
- You won’t be asked for your Social Insurance Number, and a full credit check won’t happen until later on in the process, meaning your credit score won’t take a hit from multiple searches, Lemoine notes.
- Working with lenders to find you the best rate, once complete, your pre-approval is valid for 45 days, giving you ample time to find your dream car; however, you’re under no obligation if you change your mind.
- And with many participating dealers today having easy access to a variety of makes and models, there are a lot of opportunities to find the exact car you’re looking for!
Feedback from both customers and dealers has been positive. “So many Canadians are living paycheck to paycheck; now they don’t need to drive around to maybe get approved for that car they’ve had their eye on,” Lemoine says.
“We’re on a mission to empower Canadians and get them the information they need to access the vehicles they want.”