A new auto financing capability on the PRNDL.com Web site offers private-sale used-car buyers the ability to line up financing and apply for a loan online.
Easier financing for consumer-to-consumer sales could potentially take some used-car sales away from franchised dealerships. Franchised dealers sold about 2.3 million used cars in the first quarter of this year, roughly 23.5 percent of total U.S. used volume, according to Edmunds.com. The rest were sold by private individuals or independent dealers.
Brent Sergot, president of PRNDL, of Alpharetta, Ga., said last week the process of applying for a loan works generally like some other Web sites that offer direct-to-consumer loans.
The company name, pronounced "prindle," was taken from the gear positions on an automatic shift: park, reverse, neutral, drive and low. PRNDL offers online buyers of used cars vehicle inspections, extended-service contracts and shipping. Sellers can also purchase inspections and shipping. Buyer financing is its latest service.
PRNDL was launched in 2011 as part of a consumer diversification strategy for its parent company, DataScan Field Services, which provides lease-end vehicle inspections and dealership floorplan inventory verification.
DataScan is unit of World Omni Financial Corp., the financial services arm of JM Family Enterprises Inc.
PRNDL is a partnership between Bank of America and DataScan. Using a few pieces of basic information such as the customer's name, date of birth, address and Social Security number, the system can estimate the customer's credit tier without actually getting a credit report. Too many requests for a customer's credit report in a short time can hurt his or her credit score. The system also asks "out of wallet" questions -- queries an identity thief can't answer by simply memorizing the contents of a stolen wallet -- to help verify the applicant's identity, Sergot says.
Based on that result, prime-risk customers can opt to send a more complete credit application to PRNDL's partner for prime loans, Bank of America. Customers with subprime credit are referred to Innovative Funding Services in Austin, Texas, which in turn sends applications to a group of subprime lenders, Sergot says.
Previously, he says, PRNDL customers who wanted to apply for a loan online had to switch to a lender's Web site.