Lenders introduce innovative loan programs

April 20, 2011

As the overall economy continues to improve, so does the availability of credit. And as it does, the competition among lenders naturally heats up. All of which means that some new and interesting financing

options are becoming available.

Scotiabank adds variable-rate loan

Scotiabank’s Dealer Finance unit has
expanded its offering to include variable-rate auto loans – similar in concept to variable-
rate home mortgages. “This means our
dealer customers are equipped with more
options in their business offices, enabling them to close more business,” says Alain Henry, vice-president, Automotive Finance & Indirect Lending, at Scotiabank.

Ruth McBride, director of Manufacturer Partnerships noted that for customers, key features of the variable-rate loans include the benefit of low rates with an annual re-set feature ensuring that, if rates go up, the loan amortization won’t be pushed out. This means that customers won’t be left with negative equity in their vehicles as a result of interest-rate changes. “It’s a win-win for the customer and for the dealer when re-marketing to that customer down the road,” says McBride.

”Our rate buy-down feature is unique and provides dealers with another option to put manufacturer cash incentives to work,” she says. “Variable rates can be bought down below prime, providing dealers a unique tool to tailor financing to the needs of the customers.” And buy-down calculators are available to assist dealers in modelling options for utilizing these manufacturer incentives.

Further information on Scotiabank’s new variable rate finance option is available from your local Scotiabank Dealer Finance representative.

TDFS hybrid loan

TD Financing Services is also expanding its lending program but in a different direction – to include exclusive financing solutions for the purchase of new hybrid vehicles.

It is a full-spectrum loan program – prime and non-prime – that offers reduced rates to customers purchasing new hybrid vehicles and it is applicable to more than 20 eligible vehicles from various manufacturers.

“Our dealer partners can now offer a lending solution that supports their customers’ green choices,” says Andrew Ojamae, national sales director for TDFS. The addition of this program to TD Financing Services’ extensive product suite is another option dealers can draw on to help meet the needs of their customers, including those that are looking for ways to reduce emissions.

TD is also offering hybrid owners a break on the insurance side, as are some other insurance companies that are coming up with innovative solutions to reward environmentally-conscious drivers. Drivers who own or lease hybrid vehicles can save up to 10 percent on auto insurance premiums through the TD Insurance Green Wheel Program.

“The growing popularity of the Green Wheel Program shows us that we’ve tapped into a huge shift in consumer attitudes about cars, costs and carbon footprints,” says Henry Blumenthal, vice-president and chief underwriter, TD Insurance. “We wanted to respond to this trend by rewarding customers for making green choices.”

TD Financing Services is also enhancing its hours of operation, opening when dealers are to provide full spectrum financing services seven days a week.

These new hours reflect the alignment of the prime and non-prime credit hours, so dealers can now receive services from each of the credit teams during the same hours.

“We looked at the prime and non-prime hours and took the best of both. For example, we are already open Sundays for non-prime, but are now offering prime support during those same hours,” says Sean O’Brien, vice-president Sales and Operations. “Ensuring that our hours align with our dealers is just another way in which we are able to provide them with the best support and service in the industry.”

These enhanced hours of operation are
effective March 14, 2011.

RIFCO to join DealerTrack interface

Alberta-based RIFCO Auto Finance has announced that its auto-lending program will soon be available to select Canadian dealers through the national online credit application network operated by DealerTrack Canada. RIFCO is currently pilot-testing the interface with a limited number of dealers.

When fully rolled out, RIFCO says, it will have potential access to over 5,000 enrolled auto dealers (new and used) participating in the DealerTrack loan origination platform. As access to reasonably-priced capital improves for the company, now is the opportune time to join the DealerTrack Network, RIFCO says.

RIFCO offers non-traditional auto loans indirectly through a growing network of selected new- and used-vehicle dealers operating in all Canadian provinces except Saskatchewan and Quebec.


About Gerry Malloy

Gerry Malloy is one of Canada's best known, award-winning automotive journalists.

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