Business Growth

Subprime Competition is Heating Up!

Eric Fruithandler, Senior Sales Executive, Specialty ChannelAccording to the latest data from Experian and Equifax, subprime market share increased 4.15 percent year-over-year, with independent auto financing capturing the majority of the market.

As the subprime market continues to expand, the industry has also seen more independent financing companies backed by private equity firms pop up. Competition is heating up and lenders are continuing to loosen their standards. While the experts at Equifax see this as a sign of “health” in the sector, many lenders see competition as another hurdle they must face in the quest to build loan volume.

So, how can lenders protect themselves from loss of marketshare?

If financial institutions continue to increase their loan cap which inconsequentially increases APR, eventually consumers will be unable to sustain the high loan payments that come with their new vehicle. In addition, not all lenders are willing to extend a $20,000+ loan to subprime consumers and compete on rate. Rather than falling into the trap of over-extending themselves, financial institutions are learning how to compete on the value of their loan.

In terms of being valuable to their dealership partners, this means:

  • providing accessible lending representatives during dealership hours;
  • having a quick turn-around on loan decisioning;
  • providing understandable guidelines on the types of consumers that are eligible for their loans;
  • implementing a quick and efficient funding process; and,
  • making the F&I manager’s job easier.

Seems pretty straightforward right? You’d be surprised at how many lenders struggle with consistency in these areas. While ease of access and clear guidelines are important in simplifying the F&I process, smart lenders understand that making their loan valuable to the consumer outside of pure APR can significantly alleviate the pressure on the F&I manager and increase the dealership’s PRU.

Of everyone in a dealership, the F&I manager has the toughest job. Consumers walking into the showroom are already interested in buying a car. Consumers in the service drive are there because they need service. For the most part, consumers in the F&I office never even thought about consumer protection products when contemplating the purchase of a vehicle. They walk through the door with defenses raised and skepticism turned on high.

Now imagine the F&I manager was equipped with a loan that provided the consumer complimentary consumer protection products, like a vehicle service contract. Instead of starting the conversation trying to overcome high consumer skepticism with a sales pitch, they are positioned as an advisor. As the F&I manager discusses the type of loan the consumer qualifies for, they have the easy transition into the F&I selling process as they explain all the benefits that come with the loan. At the conclusion, they can then ask if the consumer would like to extend the benefits to the full term of their loan. As you can imagine, this is a much easier sell.

In addition, the value that consumer protection products bring to the table assure the customer that both the dealership and the lender recognize the worth of their business no matter their financial position.  This significantly enhances both the financial institution and dealership’s brand in the eyes of consumers, resulting in increased customer loyalty and referrals. All of this, of course, means increased business and revenue for you and your dealership partners.

With over 37 years of experience in innovating agile consumer protection products that give our partners an edge in the market, EFG is your key to driving business and increasing loan volume. Contact us today to turn the heat up on results.

Business Growth F&I Government Regulations

What’s Your Value Proposition for 2014?

Contributing Author: Steve KleesWhen you walk into a dealership, what value do you bring to the F&I office besides another loan for which their customers may qualify? In 2014, F&I managers across the country are concerned with three hot buttons:

  • Compliance
  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
  • Maximizing profitability

As entities like the CFPB increase the pressure on compliance practices, F&I managers have a difficult job on their hands to balance compliance with profitability. The best way to separate your loan from the competition is to help them with this balance. How do you do this?

Understand your role in compliance culpability. As seen recently, the CFPB is targeting both financial institutions and dealerships for discriminatory practices. In December, they ordered Ally Financial to repay $80 million to consumers, whom the CFPB alleges were discriminated against. If you haven’t already, it’s time to evaluate your processes in approving auto loans to ensure your own compliance.

Provide clear standards for loan approvals. This not only helps with compliance, but helps F&I managers ensure that they submit well-qualified customers for your loans. You know your qualifications, but how well do F&I managers? Look at how often you deny auto loans. If that number is high, it could be because your standards are unclear to the F&I officer.

Provide more options to F&I managers. Traditionally, when you approve a loan, the F&I manager marks up your interest rate to help increase their profit margin. This very practice is what is under intense scrutiny by the CFPB. So, consider stepping outside tradition and provide options to maximize profit by structuring your loan with complimentary consumer protection products. By offering products such as vehicle return or a vehicle service contract, you set the stage for the F&I manager to upsell those products and get a greater share of the return. Offering complimentary products with upsell opportunities neatly nullifies compliance issues and increases profit for both you and your dealership partners.

With over 36 years in innovating and implementing proven go-to-market strategies in the dealership space, EFG Companies understands the balance between ensuring complete compliance and increasing profit. That balance lies in the value proposition. Which is why EFG structures its products and services to not only provide value to you, but also dealerships and the end-consumer. Our unmatched client-engagement model goes well beyond simple product innovation to mitigating liability through superior claims processes, and continuous training and follow-up.

Learn how EFG can take your value proposition to the next level in 2014.


Why Should They Choose Your Loan?

Steve Roennau Vice President Compliance EFG Companies
Contributing Author:
Steve Roennau
Vice President
EFG Companies

The Challenge: Differentiation!

According to the latest State of the Automotive Finance Market Report, nonprime, subprime and deep-subprime new vehicle loans increased to 27.5 percent market share in Q2. This is a 25.4 percent year-over-year increase. In addition, nonprime, subprime and deep-subprime used vehicle loans experienced a 54.5 percent year-over-year increase in Q2 market share.

But with the good, comes the bad. As loan volume increases, lenders are presented with two challenges: increased competition and higher delinquency rates. With an influx of financial institutions putting together sub-prime financing packages and June auto loan delinquencies increasing by 5.5 percent, it’s important to ask how you are tackling these challenges presented by an expanding market.

Consider this:

Loans that offer complimentary consumer protection products can help you address the challenges of increased competition and delinquency control, while also providing additional streams of revenue.

Said another way:

The dealerships you work with have a variety of other subprime lenders from which to choose. What do you have to incentivize F&I managers to present your loan offering to their customers? Why should the customer choose your loan offering? You can’t always offer the lowest rate, so what makes you different?

Financing options offering complimentary F&I products with upgrade opportunities provide significant benefits to all parties involved.

  • Benefits to F&I Managers: Starting the F&I process with a loan paired with complimentary consumer protection products puts the F&I Manager in a positive position with their customers, enabling them to sell consumer protection products as upgrades, thus improving profit potential.
  • Benefits to Consumers: Consumer protection products allow consumers to avoid unexpected expenses that may inhibit their ability to make their car payment.
  • Benefits to Lenders: Upgrade options provide increased potential for profit opportunity for lenders, and by protecting the customer, mitigates loss exposure.

With over 35 years of consumer protection product insights, EFG Companies works side-by-side with subprime lenders like you to administer the right mix of F&I products providing the greatest return to you and your dealership partners.

Don’t You want to know how?