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Auto Refinance

FEB 24, 2022

Auto refinancing documents: Which docs to use and why



5 min read

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When we refinance your vehicle, we’ll need some documents from you to make the process go smoothly. Learn more about these documents and why we need them.

During the refinancing process you will be asked to supply Caribou with several types of documents that provide detailed information about you and your vehicle. We work directly with both you and auto refinance lenders, and in doing so collect your documents and forward them to the lender on your behalf.

While this is a great place to start, please keep in mind that this isn’t a fully exhaustive list. Depending on the specific lender you are working with they may ask for additional documents based on their companies’ criteria and internal guidelines for providing auto loans or due to periodic changes within the lending industry as a whole.

Identification documents

As part of the refinancing process, your lender will need to verify both your identity and ownership of the car you are refinancing. In order to do so, you’ll need a government-issued ID and your car registration. Here are a few examples of what they might ask for:

Driver’s license

Your state-issued driver’s license is the most common and straightforward form of identification asked for by lenders. Your lender will most likely request a picture of the front and back of your license in order to verify you could legally be the driver of the car. They can also use the information found on your driver's license to match you as a listed party on the car loan and registration.

Current vehicle registration

Your car’s current registration allows your lender to identify the vehicle you are refinancing is legally registered to you and where it is located. Since regulations vary by state, this will also allow the lender to understand which state-related factors will need to be considered. Without your registration, lenders may not be able to confirm if your car will be able to be refinanced.

Current auto insurance

Full-coverage car insurance is legally required for all financed cars. If you don’t have auto insurance or the correct coverage for the car you want to refinance, you won’t be able to refinance.

Proof of mileage

In order for you to receive a reasonable loan offer your lender needs proof of your car’s mileage. Since Caribou allows you to refinance your car online, your lender won’t be able to see your car in person. As an alternative, you may also have the option of submitting either a formal statement of mileage like an odometer disclosure form, or submit a photo of your car’s odometer, which can simply be taken using your smartphone. Both of these options allow the lender to verify that your car’s mileage is accurate.

Proof of residence

When lenders refinance your car, they’ll need proof of exactly where you live by asking for documents that show your current home address. Typical documents that qualify as proof of residence include your driver’s license, current employment paystubs, credit card statements, or utility bills. Lenders need to confirm where you’re located to make sure, most importantly, that they serve your area and in order to refinance and purchase the debt obligations attached to your loan.

Proof of income

Proof of income documents, like recent pay stubs or tax returns if you’re self-employed, are an indication to lenders that you will be able to pay for your new loan. This document is similar to the information on your credit report because it helps lenders understand your financial situation better and allows them to offer a loan that will work best for you.

Other lender-specific documents

Simply put, each lender and their requirements throughout the refinancing process are different. Depending on which lender you’re working with, you may be asked for different information as a means for them to understand who you are, where you live, or your financial situation. Below is a list of several examples.

Your green card, work visa, or SS card

Our wide network of lenders allows us to serve many people. This may include people who are either U.S. citizens or on a visa. If you are a U.S. citizen, lenders will normally ask for your SSN or a copy of your social security card when finalizing your auto loan. If you are a green card holder or in the U.S. on a work visa, because of federal rules, lenders may need you to supply copies of either document as additional proof of identity. If you have stamped documents from governmental offices like the Department of Homeland Security, you may also have to provide them.

Mortgage payments

As additional proof of residence, some lenders will want to see your most recent mortgage statements. This allows them to confirm that you’re currently making ongoing and on-time payments to the residence you’ve provided, lessening any risk of you defaulting on your new loan.

Phone bill

Some lenders may ask to see your most recent phone bills. This document provides another way for lenders to understand where you live and verify your contact phone number.

Having these documents will help you have what you need to refinance your vehicle. Since each lender and their requirements differ so greatly, you may need all or just a few of these listed documents. Regardless of which or how many of these you need, each document helps your lender confirm important information so they are able to give you the loan that works best for you. Ask your Caribou loan officer if you have any questions related to documents, what to use, or how to verify your personal and vehicle information.

Auto refinance document FAQs

  • What documents do I need to refinance my car? You need several different types of documents to refinance your vehicle. They include the car's odometer, your ID, address, and proof of income. These documents are required by lenders to verify your vehicle, who you are, and other details needed during the refinance process.

  • What type of identification documents do I need when refinancing my car? You need to provide identifying documents which show who you are and that you own the car or vehicle you are refinancing. These documents include your driver’s license, current registration, and insurance.

  • How do I verify my car’s mileage during the refinancing process? To verify the mileage on your vehicle, you can take a picture of the odometer. This provides lenders with the information they need for refinancing your car. Make sure the mileage numbers can be seen clearly in the picture and do not edit, filter, or change the picture.

  • Why do I need to show proof of residence during the auto refinance process? In order to refinance your car loan, lenders need to know where you live by showing proof of residence. This can often be a utility bill or similar document. Auto refinance lenders require this because they need to know where you will drive your car most of the time.

  • Do I have to show proof of Income to refinance a car? Proof of income is required when refinancing to show lenders you are able to pay off your car loan. This can be a pay stub from your work or a tax return document if you are self employed. This information helps lenders understand your financial situation and offer a loan which will work best for you.

  • Can I refinance my car using a green card, work visa, or SS card? Our wide network of lenders lets us service people from all walks of life, including people here on a visa. Because of federal rules, lenders may need your work visa, green card or both as additional proof of identity. If you have a stamp on your document by the Department of Homeland Security, it’s more likely that you will have to provide these documents.

  • Do I need to show mortgage documents when applying to refinance my car? As additional proof of residence, some lenders will want to see your most recent mortgage payments. This lets them confirm that you’re making ongoing payments to the residence you’ve provided.

  • Can I use my phone bill when refinancing my car? Some lenders may want to see your most recent phone bills. It’s another way for them to figure out if you can pay for your new loan, or to ensure that they would be able to reach you in the future at the number provided.

Other refinancing resources

Learn about buying new versus used cars

Learn about auto refinancing and how it works

Estimate your savings with the auto refinance calculator

Through Caribou, you could start saving today!

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Contact Details
NMLS #1746612

Mon - Fri: 9am - 8pm EST

Sat - Sun: 9am - 4pm EST

717 17th Street, Suite 700
Denver, CO 80202

* This information is estimated based on consumers whose auto refinance loan funded through Caribou between 3/1/2023 and 3/1/2024, and had an existing auto loan on their credit report. These borrowers saved an average of $115.72 per month. Refinance savings may result from a lower interest rate, longer term, or both. There is no guarantee of savings. Your actual savings, if any, may vary based on interest rates, the repayment term, the amount financed, and other factors.

+ To check the refinance rates and terms you qualify for, we conduct a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a loan product and continue your application, we or one of our lending partners will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.

++ Social security number is required should you choose to move forward in the loan application process.

** APR is the Annual Percentage Rate. Your actual APR may be different. Your APR is based on multiple factors including your credit profile and the loan to value of the vehicle. APR ranges from 5.99% to 28.55% and is determined at the time of application. Lowest APR is available for a 36 month term, to borrowers with excellent credit. Conditions apply. Advertised rates and fees are valid as of 5/20/24 and are subject to change without notice.

Terms and Conditions apply. Caribou reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Participating lenders, rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. The information you provide to us is an inquiry to determine whether our lenders can make you a loan offer. If any of our lending partners has an available loan offer for you, you will be invited to submit a loan application to the lender for its review. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. We do not guarantee that you will receive any loan offers or that your loan application will be approved. If approved, your actual rate will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, income and other factors. Offers not available in MD, NE, NV, WV.

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