There are a huge selection of online finance brokers and online car loan products available for use and research. A lot of clients may feel that shopping for finance online is not safe and would be more open to being treated unfairly. However these days with the increasing popularity of banking and shopping online more and more Australians are turning to the internet for the car finance.

Make sure your enquiry is just that and not a formal application

Before you accept the sites terms and conditions when entering in your contact details, make sure you read them and understand what will be done with your information. It is required for the websites to provide a privacy statement to advise how your information is used and stored, so if you haven’t read this and it gives permissions to the owners of the sites to run credit checks, and if you have provided certain information, this could result in an application being submitted to a lender and a possible enquiry made on your credit file. If you are unsure what it means, only provide your direct contact details and no other personal information such as licence numbers or dates of birth and wait to speak to someone.

Check the credentials of the company

The financial services industry is regulated, and any car loan provider is required to either hold an Australian Credit Licence, or be a Credit Representative under an Australian Credit Licence holder. A professional business would most likely display this information on their website. This would also mean that they have External Dispute Resolutions memberships with an approved credit ombudsman, which gives the client some level of protection.

Do they use multiple financiers?

A good online finance broker will have access to a number of lenders on their panel, which can assist in getting you the right deal and a great interest rate. If a finance broker is limited on products, they may try and fit you within a product that is not best for your circumstances due to their limited lending panel. This information may be displayed on their website, or if it isn’t you can ask any of their consultants to provide this information.

Don't rely on online car loan calculators

Online car loan calculators are a guide only, and not to be relied upon as a quote. Quite often these are used as marketing tools that may give you unrealistic payments, rates or calculate your repayments whilst structuring the loan not to your needs. It is best to speak to a consultant that can give you something more definitive and tailored to your personal circumstances.

Deal with someone you feel comfortable with

A good online finance broker will provide everything you want in writing. Sure this opens them up to being “shopped” more, but they will more likely be easier and more transparent to deal with and having nothing to hide. If you feel uncomfortable with the online company, move on to the next one.