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When Paul Taravati transitioned from selling high-end luxury cars for brands like Mercedes, Porsche and BMW to working for a large company that provided auto loans to below prime customers, he was appalled by what he found.
“I was seeing how poorly people with credit challenges were being mistreated,” he says.
That is what inspired Taravati to partner with a fellow auto-industry veteran, Sonia Perugini, to co-found AutoLoanServices.ca in 2018.
“The idea was to merge the two worlds that I know — the luxury sales and the sub-prime sales — into one, and essentially do what nobody is really doing; give people with less than perfect credit, that have issues getting approved and buying a safe reliable car, the first class service high-end shoppers would typically receive,” he says.
The company operates like an online dealership, but Taravati says their focus is split between selling safe and reliable vehicles and helping customers better understand and improve their credit score.
“We do credit assessments with them to let them know what deficiencies they have in their credit, what’s weighing them down, how we can help strengthen their credit by way of an auto loan, and essentially all of our conversations and transactions revolve around credit rather than car,” he says.
Taravati explains that the best way to rebuild credit is through an installment loan that reports to the credit bureaus. The problem is that those with credit challenges typically struggle to receive approval for an unsecured loan, such as a personal loan.
“That’s why an auto loan is really their only tool for repairing their credit, because at least it’s securitized against an asset; the car,” he says. “If they default on the loan the lender can always take the car back, so their risk appetite is higher.”
While an auto loan can be a lifeline for those struggling with credit challenges, traditional dealerships typically only work with one or two lenders, which can significantly limit their customers’ options.
Multiple Lender Options
“We work with close to 30 lenders, therefore we don’t leave any opportunity on the table, and we’re not running with the first approval we get; we’re striving for the best approval,” says Taravati.
Strong Relationship With Banks – Lower Rates
“We also have strong relationships with all the banks — based on the volume of business we give them they do give us preferential treatment — and we can negotiate the rate down from the final approval and pass the savings on to the client.”
Online Application Process & Free Contactless Vehicle Delivery
The Newmarket-based company has also offered an online application and approval process as well as free, contactless vehicle delivery to customers based anywhere in Ontario since well before the pandemic.
Those interested in purchasing a vehicle can apply online by providing some basic personal information, such as:
Once the application is received a team member reaches out to explain the process and gather some additional information in order to complete a credit application. That includes a needs-analysis to determine the best vehicle for their specific circumstances, based on their budget, family size and the type of vehicle they’re interested in purchasing.
“Then we request a few documents like their license and pay stubs so that we can assess their credit and go to work,” says Taravati. “We determine which lenders they would have the best shot at getting an approval from, and work the lenders to secure the best pre-approval for them.”
AutoLoanServices.ca works with its vast network of dealerships — which provides access to more than 5,000 vehicles of nearly every make and model — in order to offer the customer a number of vehicle options, all of which are pre-approved.
“Everything is done virtually; we send them pictures, all the specs, if there are any minor imperfections or flaws we identify that to them, so there are no surprises,” adds Taravati.
If a customer is satisfied with one of their options AutoLoanServices.ca secures the vehicle, reconditions it, certifies it, has it professionally detailed and schedules it for delivery. Taravati adds that the vehicle arrives commitment-free, and can be returned at no cost if not fully satisfied.
“When their delivery team arrives, clients can inspect the vehicle, test drive it, and once they’re satisfied the vehicle is essentially sign-and-drive ready; the driver will have all the documents to review and sign,” he says. “For added peace of mind, we offer a 30-day exchange in case there’s anything wrong with the vehicle.”
Taravati adds that if an issue arises that is not covered under warranty and the customer is concerned that they won’t be able to make a payment he will pay for repairs out of his own pocket. “That’s something we’ve done many times,” he says.
AutoLoanServices.ca also offers a range of services that one would expect from a typical dealership, such as trade-ins, snow tires, remote starters and other accessories, extended warranties and insurance products. The company has worked with clients of all credit types, including prime and sub-prime borrowers, and offers access to a range of vehicles, including both new and used.
“We try to stand out by giving customers the best service they’ve ever received, and our online presence and reviews back that up,” Taravati says.
Taravati understands that the process may seem unorthodox to those that have never purchased a vehicle online before. He adds that AutoLoanServices.ca has earned the trust of its customers through its commitment to customer service, ensuring vehicle quality and helping Ontarians improve their credit score.
“From not requesting deposits to really taking all the onus and risk upfront to purchase the vehicle for them, to get it ready, license it, do all the work and deliver it across the province without any commitment, that shows our trust in our clients,” he says. “ That’s how we earn their trust back.”
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