The modern dealership F&I office has been forged by countless people and companies over the past century and beyond.
General Motors Acceptance Corp., formed through the efforts of John Raskob in 1919, set the standard for captive finance companies and helped spread the concept of mass-market consumer financing.
Reynolds and Reynolds Co.'s business of supplying dealers with standardized forms really took off when Reynolds agreed to provide Chevrolet dealers nationwide with standardized accounting forms in 1927. It was a leap forward in Reynolds' automotive business, but the now 151-year-old company didn't stop there, adding software to its portfolio of dealership offerings in the 1960s and eventually becoming a major dealer management system and software provider.
Central States Health & Life Co. of Omaha set up shop in 1932, offering a credit life insurance product called the Thrifty plan, which took over loan payments for clients who were unable to make payments because of accident or illness. The "I" in F&I has long been said to refer to credit life insurance, arguably the first ancillary product sold by auto dealers. After more than 80 years in business, CSO still is considered by many in the U.S. auto retail market to be the credit insurance leader.