Fintech startup and online lender SoFi launches Lantern to let you compare auto loan rates
Early this year, we told you about SoFi after the fintech giant and the online loan startup company announced plans to go public via a merger with a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, backed by venture capital investor Chamath Palihapitiya.
Ahead of its IPO launch, SoFi announced yesterday the launch of Lantern, a product comparison site that makes it easy for individuals to shop for products and compare offers with top lenders. The new platform is owned and operated by SoFi.
In addition, SoFi also launches auto loan refinancing in partnership with MotoRefi – an auto fintech startup on a mission to help people save money on their auto loans – to combine selection, speed, and convenience through its network of trusted lenders. This agile approach ensures borrowers have the opportunity to choose from a selection of competitive offers that fit their financial situation and goals, quickly.
Auto loan debt has quickly become one of the most important areas for consumers to be mindful of when it comes to maximizing financial well-being and now ranks as the third-largest component of household debt1. This need is underscored by the record-setting volume of auto loans borrowers took out last year. In 2020, the average auto loan amount soared to more than $35,000, on average, according to Experian. This means Americans are now approaching an average payment of $600/month for new cars and more than $400/month for used vehicle purchases.2
“For most people, having our own form of transportation is a critical staple when it comes to meeting many obligations – across both our personal and professional lives – and we don’t think access to it should come at the cost of anyone’s financial well-being,” said Anthony Noto, CEO of SoFi. “We know lowering monthly payments on a loan that was used to finance an expensive, yet often depreciating, asset is a smart decision that can make a very real, positive impact, not only on a monthly basis but also in the long-term. Our decision to expand into auto loan refinancing is rooted in a belief that everyone deserves visibility into the steps they can take to improve their financial stature throughout each milestone in their financial lives.”
SoFi’s expansion into auto loan refinancing in partnership with MotoRefi not only makes for a seamless user experience, it also adds a much-needed layer of transparency to the process by allowing the borrower to view competitive offers and determine eligibility without any impact to their credit score. The integration is powered by MotoRefi’s ecosystem API, which empowers borrowers by connecting them with pre-qualified refinance offers that the company says saves borrowers an average of $100/month.
“MotoRefi and SoFi share a similar goal of helping average consumers improve their financial lives,” said MotoRefi CEO, Kevin Bennett. “At a time when a lot of Americans are making every dollar count, we can think of no better partners in launching our API than a fintech powerhouse like SoFi.”
SoFi was founded in 2011 by Daniel Macklin, Ian Brady, James Finnigan, and Michael Cagney with a mission of providing student-loan refinancing for millennials. Since then, the fintech startup has expanded its service offerings to include stock and cryptocurrency trading, personal and mortgage loans, and wealth management services.