I did not accept the "loan" with Auto Loan Finders, but I feel as though the public should still be warned.
When I was in search of a car, I became desperate due to the fact that I had been constantly turned down by dealerships and other lending companies. I am a college student who has to be very cautious of ever penny spent. I was referred to Auto Loan Finders by cars.com. The first time I got "approved" for an auto loan with ALF, I walked away from them because (for one...) the salesman tried to use his aggressive techniques to get me to buy a car, and (for two....) the cars that he wanted to to purchase were not of quality.
When I was referred to them the second time, I decided to see the vehicles on their lot because I was hoping for a change. My salesman was Augie and even though he was wonderful (with his customer service skills), something was still not right about the company. I had him explain to me the contract, the process, and the purpose of the loan, but for some reason, I was really uneasy about everything. Augie took me to the parking lot (where there were only a few cars) and had me looking at the inventory. I test drove a 2008 Ford Fusion, and I have to admit, I loved the car. She drove smooth, had nice features, and even though she was low on gas (lol), she seemed to have minimal mechanical problems. I inspected the engine (because I am knowledgeable about cars) and she had a little wear (considering the fact that she had about 50,000 miles, but she was still relatively new.
Once we got back to the building, I spoke with Hal and he was very friendly. I spotted the other representative from the first time I was going to conduct business, so he is obviously still works there. When me and Augie finally went back to his office to review the contract, I still was not convinced that this was a legitimate loan. He went to speak to Hal to get my "fee payment" information and it seemed as though Hal liked me, so my "taxes and fees" payment went from (estimated) $1600 to $1300. Now call me dumb, but when I purchased my first car from John Bleakley, my taxes and fees only came out to $300, so why in the world were the taxes and fees in the thousands mark? I signed about 3 pages to acknowledge that I understand the process, the "credit ladder," and the acknowledgement of the taxes and fees information, but that's when I stopped. Augie wanted a payment for the taxes and fees, but still had yet to tell me how much my monthly payments would be. I had to ask him about 3-4 times how much I would be paying monthly before he answered.
I also asked him who I would be making payments to...which he did not know. My payments would have been $450 a month for 24 months...the car itself was $13,999; call me an idiot, but after paying $450 for 24 months, I would have dang near paid the car off (I would be about $3-4,000 from paying the car off)! Augie told me that how the program works is you are not supposed to pay the car off in full. Once you have made on-time, consecutive payments, you are to take the car to the dealership of your choice and trade to car in to get a lower interest rate (in a nutshell, that is how the program is supposed to work).
Because I was still not convinced, Hal just so conveniently happened to "stop by" to see how the contract was moving along. He could tell that I was very iffy about the whole situation, so he tried to use several tactics to convince me the company was legitimate. Because I told him the $1300 was a lot of money to just pay upfront, he called himself working a deal with me to extend my payment due date. He wanted me to pay $100 that day (which foolishly, I did), $500 in 2 weeks, and then another $300 (estimated--I don't remember the exact balance, but it was around the $300 mark) 5 days after the $500 payment. He told me he was "risking his neck" and his reputation to help me out, but he was doing his best to work out a solution for me. After he said that to me, I was actually completely turned off from the company completely. Hal tried to pressure me into signing the contract, but my conscious was telling me they were trying to rip me off for sure. Once Hal left the office, I kindly got my belongings and left.
From the outside looking in, it sounds like a fool-proof plan, but from a financial perspective, it sounds very foolish. After I left ALF, I came back to get my $100 refund, so...Augie was being honest about the payment being 100% refundable, but, he called a few of my references and lied to them saying that I told him to call them (my references) because they were interested in purchasing a car. ALF uses a lot of different tactics to convince people that they are a legitimate company, but overall, they use a lot of dishonesty to convince their customers they are here to help them. Augies' first words to me were "I do not get paid commission. I am on salary by the bank. I am here to help you, not make money off of you." I believe they say things like that to make you feel as though you are really getting a deal. If that were the case, why in the world are their taxes and fees more than 1000 bucks??
If you are referred to this company or thinking about accepting a loan with them, your best bet is to conduct research! I have seen many complaints about this company (one even had a physical altercation) and I am here to confirm those things. It's a good thing I listed to my conscious and not my heart, or I would have been screwed out of $1500 worth of my hard earned money.
sorry, allowing you to give a competitors name would instigate others to just file against their competition, to only come back later to suggest their company, ..plus, if you post a competitors name more than likely they will show up on search engines as a Rip-off! - - your comments on this policy are welcome. CLICK here to see why Rip-off Report, as a matter of policy, deleted either a phone number, link or e-mail address from this Report. In this case we removed an alleged competitors name
PS: If you are like me and your credit is an issue, try (((competitor's name redacted))). As long as you have a job (verifiable income), (((redacted) can extend you a loan because they have their own line of credit, so they don't need to depend on outside lenders. I got an loan from (((redacted))) for a 2005 Ford Mustang with 79,000 and my payments are $175 a month. A huge difference from what I would have been paying with ALF!