Caribou Review Summary: Caribou is a brokerage company that helps people refinance their existing auto loans at cheaper rates. Caribou doesn’t actually issue loans, but rather connects applicants with “trusted lenders, like credit unions and community banks,” that can give them the best deal on a new auto loan. No matter the lender, Caribou always charges a one-time fee of $399 for doing the paperwork to refinance your loan and transfer your vehicle’s title.
Caribou advertises being able to refinance loans at rates as low as 3.49%. The maximum APR depends on which lender refinances the loan. You don’t need perfect credit or an especially high income to qualify, either. Caribou requires a credit score of 590 or above and an annual income of at least $24,000. However, people with better credit scores and higher incomes will naturally be able to qualify for lower interest rates.
Below, you’ll find more details on auto refinance loans from Caribou.
|APRs||As low as 3.49%|
|Loan lengths||12 - 60 months|
|Loan sizes available||$5,000 - $150,000|
|Decision timeline||Upon finishing application, or within 24 hours|
|Funding timeline||Depends on the lender|
|Fees||$399 fee to process documents and retitle vehicle
$0 early payoff fee
Late fee depends on lender
|Required credit score||590|
|Vehicle Age||2013 - 2023|
|Mileage Limit||Under 100,000 miles|
|Other requirements (must meet all)||Be at least 18 years old
Be a U.S. citizen/permanent resident
Have an SSN
Caribou Rates & Fees
Caribou pays off your old auto loan and connects you to a new lender that should have a lower interest rate. Caribou advertises rates as low as 3.49% but does not disclose an upper limit because it depends on which lender refinances your loan. On that note, it’s important to point out that you don’t make payments directly to Caribou, but rather to the lender it connects you with.
You can see what rates you’re likely to qualify for through the pre-qualification tool on Caribou's website. The rates you can get through Caribou are fixed, so they won’t change for the life of the loan.
Regardless of your APR, you will have to pay a one-time charge of $399 for Caribou to process documents and retitle your vehicle. There are no fees for paying your new loan off early. Any late fee depends on the lender with which Caribou connects you.
Caribou Requirements & Application Info
Caribou representatives said that they generally require a credit score of 590 for approval, although a few of the lenders they work with may accept lower scores. There’s also a minimum income requirement of $24,000 per year, which is the 29th percentile for personal income in the U.S. In other words, 71% of American adults make more than that per year.
Caribou works not just with U.S. citizens but also with people who are permanent residents, as long as they have a Social Security number. You do have to be at least 18 years old, though.
To pre-qualify for a Caribou loan, use their online tool. You’ll have to put in such information as your name and address, income, monthly housing payment and vehicle details. This will show you what rates you’re likely to get if you’re approved, and it won’t affect your credit history. While you’re not guaranteed to get approved if you’re pre-qualified, your odds are high. Caribou allows co-borrowers to apply for a loan together. You can apply with Caribou either online or by calling (877) 445-0070.
Caribou Reviews & Transparency
Caribou has only been around since 2016, but it has scored a good reputation with the Better Business Bureau and even has a 5-star customer rating on the BBB site.
- Better Business Bureau: Caribou has been accredited with the BBB since 2018. In addition, they have earned an A+ rating.
- WalletHub: WalletHub’s editors give Caribou 4 out of 5 stars.
Caribou is fairly transparent about the terms of their auto refinance loans. They don’t disclose an overall maximum APR but do allow you to pre-qualify and see your potential rates. In addition, while some pieces of information, such as minimum credit and income requirements, are not readily available on Caribou’s website, representatives were happy to disclose them over the phone.
WalletHub’s editors scored Caribou auto refinance loans using a total of 23 metrics. We divided these metrics into categories, such as APR, fees, the application process and transparency. You can view the specifics below.
- Requirements: WalletHub looked at Caribou’s required minimums for income and credit score. We also looked at whether they require you to be a U.S. citizen and what types of identification they ask for.
- APR: Our editors looked into Caribou’s minimum and maximum APRs, along with whether those rates vary over the years or remain fixed.
- Fees: We researched Caribou’s fees, including processing fees, late fees and prepayment penalties.
- Loan amounts: WalletHub checked the largest and smallest dollar amounts available through Caribou, plus the shortest and longest number of months for borrowers to pay those loans back.
- Application process: Our editors looked at the application process, including whether it’s possible to have a co-applicant. We looked into whether Caribou has pre-qualification, plus the amount of time it takes for Caribou to come to a decision and refinance the loan.
- Customer satisfaction: We took a look at Caribou’s BBB rating, and searched to see if they had any complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. We also looked for WalletHub user reviews.
- Transparency: WalletHub’s editors took a look at Caribou’s level of transparency about their refinancing terms and how to qualify.