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Posted on: May 7, 2019

Corporate Lender or Local Bank: Which is Right for Your Dealership's F&I Department?

Corporate Lender or Local Bank: Which is Right for Your Dealership F&I Department?

As a local auto dealership, one of the most important F&I decisions you'll make is which financial lender to use for your auto financing deals. Finding the right lending partner for your dealership means striking a balance between your needs as an auto retailer and the needs of your customers. While the dealer services at larger institutions may offer a wider range of resources to you, your buyers may prefer the more personalized experience they can get from a smaller lender.

To help you decide, here are some of the key factors to consider when choosing your potential F&I partners.

1. Variety of loan products

Your first and foremost consideration should be the breadth of options for both commercial and consumer financing. Do your research and learn about a potential lender's variety of loan products, as well as the terms and conditions for each. You'll especially want to understand your incentives as a dealer for arranging certain types of auto loans for your customers.

 2. Online access

In today's digital world, consumers expect to manage all their financial products online. Larger institutions typically have technology and development departments to ensure a seamless, user-friendly online experience - including a mobile app. While nearly every small bank now offers online account access, it is worth checking out the bank’s investment in digital banking, user interface and mobile access.

3. Customer service

The experience your buyer has with your financial provider is a reflection on your dealership. This is where local lenders really shine; they have a smaller customer base, are truly embedded in the local community, and can offer personalized attention and a "family" feel that bigger institutions can't always match. Your dealership will be interacting with your lender frequently, so it's in your best interest to choose a provider that is accessible and easy to work with.

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