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Prestige Auto Loan Review

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If you have poor credit and are looking to purchase a new or used car, Prestige Financial Services provides loans to people who might not qualify for traditional financing. But rates may be high and you won’t know what APR, loan amount or term you might receive until you actually apply. Prestige Financial’s rate reduction program could bring that cost down if you make on-time payments, but it’s still a good idea to compare its offerings with those of competitors. We’ll walk you through the details of Prestige’s car loans as well as other options, even if your credit isn’t great.

How Prestige Financial Services car loans work

Established in 1994, Prestige Financial Services Inc. should not be confused with Prestige Bank, now part of Northwest Bank, or Prestige Community Credit Union. The Utah-based Prestige Financial Services offers loans for new and used cars, as we’ve mentioned, but you can only use them at its preferred network of dealers. If you’re looking to buy a motorcycle, boat or recreational vehicle, or refinance a vehicle you already have, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

Prestige Financial auto loans: At a glance

  • APRs only available upon the submission of an application
  • Terms between 24 and 72 months

Prestige extends auto loans for passenger cars, trucks, and SUVs at an average APR around 19.20%, according to S&P Global. This is high — the average APR for a new car is 6.27% and 10.07% for used — but in line with average rates for those with the worst credit, according to Experian. Terms depend upon the make and model being financed, as well as other factors. When you apply, Prestige determines the length and amount of the car loan for which you qualify.

While banks tend to consider your credit score, Prestige Financial bases its approval and rates and terms on your ability to repay the debt. It considers such factors as:

  • Employment
  • How long you’ve lived at your residence
  • Payment history
  • Income-to-payment ratio
  • Debt-to-available credit ratio

Rate Reduction Rewards Program

Prestige Financial customers who make their loan payments on time and maintain current auto insurance are eligible for up to a 0.50% reduction on their interest rate every three months for a maximum reduction of 2% every year. Only customers who pay an APR exceeding 14% qualify. Participants are eligible until their APR drops to 14%.

How to apply for a Prestige Financial car loan

Prestige offers car loans through dealerships — it’s unclear how many dealers are in its network — which is where you’ll be required to finish up your application. But it is possible to start the process online or by phone at 877-454-9389 with a Prestige preapproval. You’ll need to show:

  • Minimum income of $2,250 for an individual and $2,750 for a joint applicant.
  • Self-employment income is not considered.

A preapproved car loan from Prestige or another lender is a good idea. That way, you walk into the dealership knowing the loan amount, term and APR for which you qualify. Here are the steps you must follow for a Prestige preapproval:

  1. Complete the initial online application with basic information about yourself and your co-applicant, if you have one. You will need to supply:
  • Contact information
  • How long you’ve lived at your current address and contact information for your landlord.
  • Social Security number
  • Employment information
  • Monthly income
  • If you have filed for bankruptcy, you’ll need to provide your attorney’s name and the type of bankruptcy protection filed.
  1. Once you’ve completed your initial application, you will be notified within one business day if you have been accepted.
  2. If you receive initial approval, you will be given a list of dealerships that participate in Prestige Financial’s auto loan program. You will also need to submit the following documents  to the dealer or to Prestige Financial directly;
  • Most recent paycheck stub, within the past 30 days
  • Most recent utility bill, within the past 30 days
  • Proof of current car insurance
  • Six personal references from people not living with you
  • A copy of a valid driver’s license for you and your co-applicant, if you have one
  • If you make a monthly mortgage payment, you will need to bring a copy of your most current mortgage statement. Renters will need to provide contact information for their landlord, monthly payment amount and length of time at their current address.
  • If you list additional income on your application, you will need to bring proof of the source. Additional income may include child support or alimony.

Is a Prestige Financial car loan worth it?

Prestige considers people with poor credit and even those in bankruptcy, but it’s not your only choice for a bad credit auto loan. Those with the worst credit may be approved here at rates that are high but in line with what you could find elsewhere. Those with fair credit may want to keep looking, perhaps at their own bank or credit union, which tend to have more flexible credit requirements for its members. Taking time to compare loan rates and terms can save you money — the lower the rate and term, the less you will pay in interest costs.

Unfortunately, comparing loans can be difficult since Prestige Financial Services does not disclose APRs, loan terms or fees on its website. Here are some other benefits and drawbacks to a Prestige car loan:

Pros of Prestige Financial auto loans

  • Considers borrowers with bad credit.
  • Online or phone application, but you must finish the process at the dealer.
  • No application fee
  • Rate reductions possible

Cons of Prestige Financial auto loans

  • Applicants may only purchase a vehicle from an approved dealership.
  • Although Prestige Financial does not ask for a down payment, the dealership might require one.
  • Prestige Financial has several customer complaints about poor service and collection practices, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Who is a Prestige Financial auto loan best for?

Those with weak credit unable to get financing from a bank or through a dealership may get approved with Prestige. But a Prestige loan may come with a high rate and several hoops to jump through first, including multiple personal references you’ll need to provide. Starting an application online or by phone is convenient, but you’ll need to finish up at approved dealership. Be sure to read thoroughly the terms of any loan before you sign on the dotted line.


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