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LAST UPDATED: April 23rd, 2021
Bankrate Inc. is a financial services company that was started in 1976 as a personal finance website aimed at informing consumers with objective and accurate information. Bankrate organizes APR information from over 4,800 financial institutions and assists consumers in locating a loan that matches their personalized loan requirements. Bankrate is a free financial service to consumers and makes a profit buy producing leads for the financial institutions that are featured on Bankrate.com. Not only does Bankrate offer loan searches by area, but also they supply financial calculators and informative articles on topics like credit cards, insurance, mortgages, investments, retirement, and even identity theft. If you want to compare your bank rates to the average in your area, Bankrate has that information.

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The Good

  • Financial tools
  • Side-by-side comparison
  • Free credit score

Educational Resources and Financial Tools

Bankrate has all the information you could possibly need about getting a car loan. Not only can you search for the exact term length of your loan, Bankrate will also supply loan calculators so you can plan out your monthly payments. Bankrate also offers informative articles and other financial tools. These tools are very convenient to customers, and can help to further educate them in financial topics.

Advantages

  • Side-by-side comparison of different loan offers
  • Auto loan tips and quality assurance
  • Easy comparison of fees and conditions for each loan offer
  • APRs updated weekly
  • Free credit score
  • Options to compare new and used interest rates side-by-side
  • Ability to view most loan options in your area
  • Compare and find auto insurance quotes
  • Mobile App with real-time auto rates
  • Edmunds.com True Market Value pricing with Bankrate App
  • Ability to browse car features such as MPG and horsepower
Bankrate is your tool for informed auto, loan, and insurance decisions. Their website offers an easy comparison of APRs, associated fees, conditions, and company ratings.
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The Bad

  • Not a lending company
  • No specific loan information

Not a Lender

Since Bankrate is not a lending company, they cannot offer you an estimated APR depending on your credit score. Most of the offers that appear in your search results will be contingent upon a good credit score.

Disadvantages

  • Not all lending companies are featured on Bankrate.com (maybe you're missing out on a company with a lower APR)
  • Bankrate does not provide a direct link to any recommended lender websites (if you see an offer you like, you have to find the company website on your own)
  • Since auto rates are recommend by zip code, no online companies are recommended
  • Bankrate has few customer service options
  • Since Bankrate is essentially a search engine for loans, they cannot provide specific information about a loan

General Information Only

Essentially, Bankrate has a lot of general information in one place. So if you are seriously looking for an auto loan, it is better for you to spend your time getting accurate and personalized information directly from a lending company.
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The Bottom Line

We would not recommend Bankrate as a good place to research car loans. Although it may provide up-to-date information about featured companies, Bankrate is a time consuming website for someone who is looking to get their auto loan taken care of.
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