Lenders have tightened their standards. Luckily, most of you don't rely solely on your OEMs — you have multiple lenders. Wouldn't it be nice if you could shotgun an application to all of them at once? And wouldn't it be nice if someone filtered some of these applications based on lender criteria? That way at least some of your lenders would be spared applications they'd decline instantly.
Online service provider XpressCredit does exactly this. The New York company started out in 1999 serving independent auto dealers. Now it's courting powersports retailers as well.
"We have a couple of guys working only with powersports dealers and distributors," says Jill Greco, XpressCredit's marketing director. "They have really stepped it up in the last few months."
The result, she says, is that XpressCredit now services more than 300 active dealers, about twice as many as before. The company also has partnered with several powersports F&I service providers.
Here's how XpressCredit works: You can register an account for free at the company's Web site. The site then acts as your F&I control center for a fee of $100 per month. You immediately gain access to around eight powersports lenders that also have registered with XpressCredit. These lenders offer financing to both prime and subprime customers. You can also enter into the system the lenders with which you already do business.
You type in each customer's information into an online application. XpressCredit then scrubs the application against more than 200 pre-screening parameters relating to you, the applicant and the collateral. So, for example, the system may screen out dealers with little floored inventory, or applicants with really bad credit or wanting certain vehicles. The applicable lenders never have to see these applications.
You can also shotgun the application to your regular lenders via an online fax, but they won't benefit from a filter.
According to Greco, denials and approvals can be instantaneous or take up to 24 hours. Once a lender agrees to fund the customer, you deal with it directly. You can exchange messages with it within the XpressCredit system.
The service could save you time. And many of you wouldn't mind shelling out $100 per month just for the extra lenders. Remember, however, that some of these companies have dealer criteria. Plus, some are regional.
Others of you may be thinking, "Fewer than a dozen lenders doesn't sound like much."
But XpressCredit is looking to increase that number. In July, the company struck a deal with RouteOne, a giant Web-based credit application system created by Ford, Chrysler, GM and Toyota. RouteOne's roughly 270 lenders can now opt to receive applications from XpressCredit's dealers.
In September, XpressCredit struck a similar deal with Allied Solutions, a large provider of insurance, lending and marketing products to about 3,700 financial institutions, any of which could now decide to offer loans to powersports buyers, using XpressCredit as their portal.
New Feature: F&I Menu
XpressCredit added an F&I menu to its system in August. There is no extra cost for the feature. You build your own F&I buying levels (gold, platinum, etc.) by typing in your products and prices. You can use the menu with all your customers, even those paying cash. You can enter protections so that employees can't lower the cost of a product beyond a certain point. Employees can, however, remove products to customize a level for a customer. The new cost for that level is automatically calculated at the bottom.
The XpressCredit system has long offered other tools: NADA valuations, credit bureau reports (at $1.27 per pull), a leads management system and profit calculators. The system also offers the DMV forms for most states, and these forms are prefilled if an application has already been entered.
A Red Flag Check warns you of any discrepancies in a customer's information.