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How to save thousands on your Citibank auto loan

You can lower your monthly payments on your Citibank auto loan and save $600 every year / $50 every month through refinancing. You are a great candidate for refinancing if (a) you got your loan at the dealership and/or (b) made all of your payments on time.

Instead of making your monthly payment to Citibank why not refinance now and save thousands in minutes.

Table of contents

  1. How to make your Citibank payment
  2. Some background on Citibank
  3. Refinance your Citibank auto loan
  4. Citibank loan payoff amount
  5. How soon can you refinance your Citibank loan
  6. Will refinancing your Citibank loan hurt your credit
  7. Can I skip a car payment with Citibank
  8. Does Citibank have a grace period
  9. How long does Citibank take to repossess my car
  10. What happens if I pay extra on my Citibank loan
  11. Savings from refinancing your Citibank loan
  12. Citibank reviews
  13. Does Citibank report to the credit bureaus
  14. Citibank car loan refinance rates
  15. Can you refinance your Citibank loan with the same lender
  16. Refinance your Citibank loan now

How to make your Citibank payment

If you currently have a loan with Citibank paying online is easy. Simply go to https://online.citi.com/US/login.do and login on the right at Sign-on. You can choose between:

  • Making a one time payment.
  • Enrolling in Autopay from your checking account.

Please note that many banks and financial institutions offer a discount for enrolling in autopay (to reduce your interest expense and lower your monthly payment). Citibank would have highlighted this option to you to get you into a lower interest rate when you got pre-qualified for your auto financing.

If you can't pay online, you've also got the option to:

Pay your bill over the phone: Call 1-800-374-9500

Pay your bill through the mail: Send a check to Citibank

CitiFinancial Auto
P.O.Box 183036
Columbus, OH 43218-3036

Nicholas Hinrichsen - Published: August 23, 2020

Some background on Citibank

Before going into more detail, here a little background about Citibank: Citibank is a international bank, operating in 19 countries and offering all kinds of banking services to a broad customer base. Citibank is not particularly known for its auto loan business - auto loans are just another product offering.

As many other banks, Citibank was hit hard by the mortgage crisis in 2008, had to be bailed out and has paid back all this bail-out support ever since.

Citibank targets the segment of American car shoppers with good (i.e. prime) credit and we observed an average auto loan interest rate of 8% (within a range of +/- 4%), while rates vary a lot by credit score. Our Citibank auto loan calculator can pre-qualify you through a simple credit application and help you get a sense for how much you can expect to save from a Citibank auto refinance and the best rates.

Refinance your Citibank auto loan

To lower your monthly payments on your Citibank (also known as Citi or CitiFinancial Auto) auto loan, you need to find a lender that can extend your used car loan term or who offers lower auto loan rates before the loan is paid in full. Usually, lenders offer you a lower rate than your current auto loan for one of two reasons:

  1. When you bought your car, the participating dealer marked up your rate. That's common for auto loan originations and to make more money
  2. You improved your credit over time and now qualify for a lower car payment and interest rate.

Both of these observations are the reason for why you can save a lot of money, especially if you use your car for personal use. You improved your credit with the credit bureaus from prime credit (i.e. between 680 and 720 on your credit report) to super prime credit (i.e. above 720), you're not facing any financial difficulties and therefore, your new lender will be likely one of the following ones:

You successfully got out of the prime credit segment (a FICO between 680 - 720 on your credit history) and moved into the super prime credit segment (FICO above 720). Credit Unions love super-prime members. These lenders have a community charter and are non-profits. Therefore, the rates are as low as they get.

In the following, we will walk you through the exact steps to pay off your Citibank loan. If you want to skip the details and refinance now through a simple loan application, get an offer with a few clicks and with no impact on your credit.

Citibank loan payoff amount

First and foremost, we need to pull up your Citibank loan payoff statement. The loan payoff statement is not your outstanding balance. Instead, the loan payoff statement summarizes the following data points:

  • your payoff amount (usually your loan amount balance plus a few small fees)
  • the due date until your payoff is valid to avoid late fees (usually 10 days from when you requested it)
  • the per-diem (how much of daily interest your loan accumulates)
  • your account number (the new lender needs that to payoff your loan)
  • the payoff address (the new lender needs to know where to mail the check to)

There is no such thing as prepayment penalty and all the above information can be found on the official payoff statement and just to be clear. You have multiple payment options but first you need to locate the payoff statement from Citibank's customer service reps:

  1. Call the Citibank customer service phone number at 1-800-374-9500 and ask to be connected to the loan payoff department.
  2. Log into the online banking at Sign-on (https://online.citi.com/US/login.do, login on the right) and browse to the 'Loan Payoff' tab. You will be able to download a PDF.
  3. Do a three-way phone call with the new lender and a Citibank customer service rep at 1-800-374-9500, which allows the new lender to ask Citibank all the questions necessary to pay off your existing loan.

Should you plan to payoff your loan and you are currently in the United States, you can overnight a check to the following address:

CitiFinancial Auto
P.O.Box 183036
Columbus, OH 43218-3036

Once you paid off your auto loan, expect to receive the vehicle title along with a lien release letter in the mail. Car loans are usually secured personal loans and in order to be able to sell your vehicle or refinance it, you need the lien release in hand.

We provided those addresses above because we always struggle to find a service provider's contact information. Just be aware, due to COVID-19, waiting times for customer service reps might be longer than usual. Want us to take care of the refinance for you? We can lower your rate in less than two minutes.

How soon can you refinance your Citibank loan

You're eager to refinance your Citibank loan? Great, you should absolutely work towards lowering your Citibank payments through refinancing.

Dealers make most of their money on finance and insurance products. Therefore, there's a good chance that you are overpaying and can save money through refinancing - already the day you drive off the lot! That said, you will save the biggest amount of money from refinancing after you made 12 to 18 payments. That's when you will notice the effect from improving your credit above and beyond good (i.e. prime) credit.

That said, we recommend checking regularly: you can get a free refinance offer with no impact on your credit in three simple steps.

Will refinancing your Citibank loan hurt your credit

Refinancing will not hurt your credit! If you have the app CreditKarma installed on your phone, take a peek at what factors determine your credit. You will find the following:

  • Number of Hard Inquiries (less is better)
  • Age of Credit history (more is better)
  • Credit Card Utilization (less is better)
  • Total Accounts (more is better)
  • Derogatory Marks (less is better)
  • Payment History (more is better)

None of these factors is impacted negatively if you obtain a refinancing offer for your Citibank loan. Lenders don't need to do a hard credit inquiry to make you a firm refinance offer. From a soft credit pull, we can see your whole credit file and estimate your rate.

Should you decide to accept the refinance offer, the new lender will have to perform a hard inquiry in order to add your new loan to your credit file. The hard inquiry, however, only happens after you have been approved.

We argue that the positive impact of refinancing your Citibank loan outweigh the negative impact of the hard credit inquiry: after you refinance your Citibank loan, you will have a lower rate and lower monthly payments. As a result, the likelihood that you will be able to establish a perfect payment history increases which will drive your score up quickly.

Can I skip a car payment with Citibank

You're short on cash and are wondering whether you can skip a car payment with Citibank? The answer is yes, you can defer one or more payments. You have to talk to Citibank first though. You can't just not pay or you risk collection calls and ultimately a repossession.

Ideally, you give Citibank a call at 1-800-374-9500 and describe your situation. Citibank's goal is for you to make your payments throughout the whole term of the loan. Finance charges will continue to accrue on the unpaid loan balance, which means you will end up paying more on your loan after all. But for as long as you communicate well with Citibank, they will defer one or more payments out of courtesy and to help you.

All that said, you can lower your Citibank payments through refinancing if you've made all your latest payments on time. In three simple steps, you can find out how low your payments could be without having to skip a payment or two.

Does Citibank have a grace period

The Citibank late payment policy provides a grace period of 7 to 15 days. Grace periods vary from lender to lender and due to the COVID pandemic, banks have become a lot more lenient with their borrowers.

Late fees vary drastically by loan, the minimum late fee we've encountered was 5% of the monthly payment amount. However, we strongly advice not to take advantage of Citibank's grace period unless you have an emergency. You'd be putting your credit at risk, which can have a long-term, negative impact on your personal finances.

Instead, we recommend exploring if refinancing can help you reduce your monthly burden and potentially even provide unexpected cost savings. Provide your phone number and follow our three simple steps to get a firm offer, 100% online and with no hit on your credit.

How long does Citibank take to repossess my car

Repossession law varies slightly from state to state and range from 3 to 5 months after you stopped making payments on your Citibank loan. Each individual retail and installment contract - the contract you signed when you got your car and Citibank loan - states what constitutes a default.

Some states and contracts even trigger a repossession within 45 days (or a month and a half) of being in default. You are in default when you stopped making your payments and for as long as you haven't paid the Citibank late fees.

Just catching up with your missed payments making Citibank whole doesn't automatically mean you're not in default anymore. You really need to pay Citibank everything you owe including fees to be not considered in default any longer.

What happens if I pay extra on my Citibank loan

The answer is simple: your loan term will shorten but your monthly payment will stay the same. A number of our customers hope they can reduce their monthly payments through paying extra but no lender will do that.

To lower your monthly payments, you have to refinance your loan. If you haven't considered refinancing your Citibank loan yet, you definitely should: not only can you reduce your monthly payments within 2 minutes or less, your total interest expense will go down as well and as a result, you can save $600 every year / $50 every month.

Savings from refinancing your Citibank loan

We performed a study on the top 40 auto loan companies to refinance and found that the average Citibank loan rate is around 8% (within a range of +/- 4%). If you made your payments for 6 / 12 / 18 consecutive months, you're guaranteed to be able to save money on your Citibank loan.

Your new interest rate should be on the order of 4% or below. That means you will save $400 every year / $33 every month if your remaining loan balance is around $10,000 and you refinance. Usually, we see higher loan balances when refinancing our customers, e.g. around $15,000. If your loan balance is around $15,000 you will save $600 every year / $50 every month when you lower your rate by 4%.

For a guaranteed rate in less than 2 minutes, open WithClutch.com, enter your phone number, select your goal (e.g. 'Lower my monthly payment') and click on 'Apply Now'. Our process will not hurt your credit and you'll receive a firm and guaranteed rate with not more than 5 clicks. Should you have any further questions, check out our FAQs.

Citibank reviews

If you currently have a loan with Citibank, you most likely got the loan at the dealership where you bought your car and you can make your payments by clicking on Sign-on at https://online.citi.com/US/login.do.

79% of all Americans with auto loans get their auto loan at the dealership. People shop for new cars, they don't shop for new loans. As a result, car dealers have a lot of power and authority when it comes to giving car shoppers loans.

The challenge is this:

  1. the number 1 goal of a car dealer is to sell a car
  2. the number 2 goal of a car dealer is to sell the car at the highest possible margin

Considering the interests of the car dealer and how most car shoppers get their loans, no wonder Americans are overpaying on their interest rates, right?

As mentioned above, Citibank is an auto loan company that specializes on the segment of Americans with good (i.e. prime) credit. We looked at reviews for Citibank and found the following:

  • BBB: 1 out of 5 stars and 4,540 complaints
  • Yelp: 2 out of 5 stars from 43 reviews
  • Glassdoor: 3.7 out of 5 stars from 16,745 reviews

Ever wondered if Citibank treats everyone like you? Sadly, they do. Other loans you might have also qualified for could have been with one of the following auto loan companies:

If you bought your car at a Franchise Dealership, you may have qualified for a loan with one of the Captive Finance companies (i.e. the auto loan companies that are owned by the respective car brand), e.g.:

After you've made your first 6 / 12 / 18 payments, your chance to refinance your loan and lower your monthly payments has come. The challenge with refinancing is that most auto loan companies require you to visit their branch before they can give you any indication of how much money you will be saving. Fortunately, we can help with that.

Does Citibank report to the credit bureaus

When you first obtained your auto loan, Citibank reported your new loan to the credit bureaus. Your Citibank loan shows up as a so called trade-line on your credit report. Through a soft or hard credit inquiry, we can see:

  • When you got your Citibank loan
  • What your initial balance was
  • How high your monthly payment is
  • Whether you've made your payments in time and full
  • How high your outstanding balance is
  • How many payments are remaining

If you miss a payment, Citibank will very likely report the incident to the credit bureaus. Citibank will also report to the credit bureaus when you paid off your loan or refinanced it. In both of those cases, your loan will show up as paid off.

Citibank car loan refinance rates

We can help you get the following Citibank refinance rates:

Credit New car Used car
760+ 2.69% 3.49%
700-760 3.00% 4.25%
650-700 5.50% 6.50%
600-650 9.75% 10.75%
550-600 15.50% 17.50%
Below 550 22.00% 22.00%

As mentioned above, Citibank car loan rates vary a lot by credit score, i.e. lowest rate for excellent credit to highest rate for challenged credit. Yet, the rates are usually the same no matter where you live in the United States - be it Hawaii or Maine, Alaska or Florida. We therefore recommend taking a look at your Citibank refinance offer for your exact and personalized refinance terms.

Can you refinance your Citibank loan with the same lender

The answer is short and sweat: no, you cannot refinance a Citibank loan with the same lender. Citibank does one of two things with your loan:

  • Keep it and generate profit over the course of the loan and while you are paying your interest.
  • Sell your loan to an institutional investor or the public through a securitization to realize a lump sum profit immediately.

In both of those cases, the institution holding your loan is expecting your monthly payments. When you refinance, however, you change the expected cash flow to Citibank, which impacts Citibank's bottom line. Citibank would not allow that.

Therefore, Citibank won't let you refinance your loan with the same lender (i.e. Citibank). Instead, you need to find a new lender offering a lower rate.

Fortunately, we recently studied the best auto loan refinancing companies and wrote a thorough review. In a nutshell, only WithClutch offers a fully digital pre-qualification experience, even for borrowers with minimum monthly income and without charging unreasonable fees. We do our best to give our clients the best loan offers and lowest rates our partner lenders can offer and can help with lease buyouts as well as refinancing.

Refinance your Citibank loan now

Haven't explored refinancing yet?
WithClutch.com is a fully digital platform that lets car owners like you do so from the comfort of their own home. No need to set a foot in a bank or credit union. You can lower your rate or get cash in as little as 20 seconds.

Follow three simple steps to refinance your auto loan, get approved in seconds and save thousands in minutes.




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