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How to save thousands on your Consumer Portfolio Services auto loan

Nicholas Hinrichsen - Published: July 15, 2021

You can lower your monthly payments on your Consumer Portfolio Services auto loan and save $750 every year / $63 every month through refinancing. You are a great candidate for refinancing if (a) you got your current loan at the dealership and/or (b) made all of your loan payments on time.
Instead of making your monthly payment to Consumer Portfolio Services why not refinance now and save thousands in minutes.

Table of contents


Background on Consumer Portfolio Services
  • Consumer Portfolio Services reviews
  • How to make your payment?
  • Does Consumer Portfolio Services report to the credit bureaus?

Before refinancing your Consumer Portfolio Services auto loan
  • Things to consider before refinancing
  • Common mistakes people make when refinancing

How to refinance your Consumer Portfolio Services auto loan
  • Step by step guide to refinance
  • Experts’ take on how to refinance
  • How much does it cost to refinance?
  • How soon can you refinance?
  • Will refinancing hurt your credit?
  • What happens if I pay extra?
  • Expected Savings from refinancing?
  • What are current refinance rates?
  • Can you refinance with the same lender?
  • Best bank for refinancing your Consumer Portfolio Services loan?

Things not to do when refinancing
  • Reasons you should not refinance
  • Can I skip a car payment?
  • Does Consumer Portfolio Services have a grace period?
  • How long does Consumer Portfolio Services take to repossess my car?

Refinance your Consumer Portfolio Services loan now

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Background on Consumer Portfolio Services


Before going into more detail, here a little background about Consumer Portfolio Services: Consumer Portfolio Services, Inc (CPS) was founded in 1991 and provides auto financing to individuals with previous credit issues, past credit probems, low incomes or limited credit backgrounds/limited credit histories. The company is based in Irvine, California, and run by CEO Charles Bradley, Jr.

Since it began operation, Consumer has purchased over $16.6 billion in retail installment sales contracts and financed them through the securitization markets. Car buyers got these loans through either franchised automobile dealerships or select independent dealers.

Automobile dealers like the indirect automobile financing company to give credit to customers (including first time buyers!) who are looking to buy sedans, light trucks or passenger vans.

The independent specialty finance company's portfolio of retail automobile contracts is over $2.3 billion, with over 173,000 customers served by the 830 employees. They operate with dealers in 48 states by purchasing installment sales contracts of late-model used vehicles and some new vehicles.

Consumer Portfolio Services targets the segment of American car shoppers with challenged (i.e. sub-prime) credit and we observed an average auto loan interest rate of 19% (within a range of +/- 5%), while rates vary a lot by credit score. Our Consumer Portfolio Services auto loan calculator can pre-qualify you hassle-free through a simple credit application and help you get a sense for how much you can expect to save from a Consumer Portfolio Services auto refinance and the best rates.

Consumer Portfolio Services reviews


If you currently have a loan with Consumer Portfolio Services, you most likely got the loan at the dealership during the car purchase. You probably used your used vehicle as a trade-in to lower your down payment. The dealer found you your loan and you can make your payments by clicking on Secure Access at https://customers.consumerportfolio.com.

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, auto dealers have a leg up when it comes to giving car shoppers loans. In fact, the same is true for auto insurance and when you inquire about a warranty.

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, Consumer Portfolio Services is an auto loan and financial services company that specializes on the segment of Americans with challenged (i.e. sub-prime) credit. We looked at reviews for Consumer Portfolio Services and found the following:

  • BBB: 1 out of 5 stars and 128 complaints
  • Yelp: 1.5 out of 5 stars from 44 reviews
  • Glassdoor: 3.8 out of 5 stars from 84 reviews

Ever wondered if Consumer Portfolio Services 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.

How to make your Consumer Portfolio Services payments?


If you currently have a loan with Consumer Portfolio Services paying online is easy. Simply go to https://customers.consumerportfolio.com and login in the middle at Secure Access. 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 rate discount for enrolling in autopay (to reduce your interest expense and lower your monthly payment). Consumer Portfolio Services would have highlighted this option to you to get you into a lower interest rate when you got pre-qualified during your application process for your auto financing.

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

Pay your bill over the phone: Call 1-800-304-6812

Pay your bill through the mail: Send a check to Consumer Portfolio Services

Consumer Portfolio Services
16355 Laguna Canyon Road
Irvine, CA 92618

Does Consumer Portfolio Services report to the credit bureaus?


When you first obtained your auto loan, Consumer Portfolio Services reported your new loan to the credit bureaus. Your Consumer Portfolio Services 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 Consumer Portfolio Services 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, Consumer Portfolio Services will very likely report the incident to the credit bureaus. Just like any other auto finance company, Consumer Portfolio Services 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.

Before refinancing your Consumer Portfolio Services auto loan


Before refinacing your Consumer Portfolio Services auto loan we recommend first taking a look at how much you actually owe. To get a clear picture of your current loan, we need to pull up your Consumer Portfolio Services loan payoff statement to obtain your loan payoff amount and details. 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)

With your accurate payoff information in mind, you're well equipped to make an educated decision on whether or not to refinance your loan. High monthly savings doesn't necessarily mean refinancing is worth it quite yet. We'll therefore look into a few nuances of refinancing first.

Things to consider before refinancing


Is it smart to refinance your Consumer Portfolio Services loan? Absolutely yes, you will save thousands of dollars over the life of your loan and free up up to $150 per month. With a good partner who can navigate the process, you will be done in minutes.

That said, we've seen a number of 'traps' when helping Americans refinace their auto loans. Just to be clear, there is no such thing as a prepayment penalty. So all the information required to consider a refinance can be found on the official payoff statement.

Once you know the payoff amount, you need to decide whether you want to pay off your loan yourlself or let the new lender take care of that. You have multiple payment options but first you need to locate the payoff statement from Consumer Portfolio Services's customer service reps:

  1. Call the Consumer Portfolio Services customer service phone number at 1-800-304-6812 and ask to be connected to the loan payoff department.
  2. Log into the online banking at Secure Access (https://customers.consumerportfolio.com, login in the middle) 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 Consumer Portfolio Services customer service rep at 1-800-304-6812, which allows the new lender to ask Consumer Portfolio Services 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:

Consumer Portfolio Services
16355 Laguna Canyon Road
Irvine, CA 92618

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.

Common mistakes people make when refinancing


We've been helping Americans lower their Consumer Portfolio Services auto loan payments for a long time now. Consumer Portfolio Services - or any other auto lender for what its worth - doesn't want you to refinance their loan. Therefore, you won't find a lot of information about how to refinance your Consumer Portfolio Services on the Internet.

One common mistake we're seeing when helping Consumer Portfolio Services customers lower their car payments is the following:

Many borrowers think that refinancing their Consumer Portfolio Services auto loans means 'restructuring' the loan. With restructuring we mean: get a second chance to make payments after you have missed a few payments or closing the chapter with Consumer Portfolio Services and starting over with a new lender. Logically, that's not what refinancing is.

Refinancing your Consumer Portfolio Services auto loan means quite the opposite: you will be able to lower your payments by decreasing your interest rate and/or stretching the term because you've done a good job and made your payments in time and in full.

If you have not made your payments to Consumer Portfolio Services in time and in full, you're not a good candidate for refinancing. Instead, you should contact Consumer Portfolio Services and get their help on financial planning for the future. Your goal has to be to not miss payments again.

How to refinance your Consumer Portfolio Services auto loan


To lower your monthly payments on your Consumer Portfolio Services 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. The best way to do so is through an online application that returns your annual percentage rate (APR) immediately. 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 common sense and the reason for why you can save a lot of money, especially if you drive your car for personal use. You improved your credit with the credit bureaus from challenged credit (i.e. between 350 and 600 on your credit report) to near-prime credit (i.e. above 600), 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 sub-prime automotive financing segment (usually for FICO scores between 350 - 600 on your credit history) and moved into the near-prime credit segment (FICO above 600). FDIC approved lenders in this segment have a focus on auto loans and understand the market very well. They charge high rates since, after all, they are in the business of lending money and have a number of customers who are likely going to struggle making payments at times. That's why their reviews often create the impression they provide a poor customer experience. But in reality, they're well versed with customers like you who are in the process of improving their credit and have great financial ambitions.

In the following, we will walk you through the exact steps to pay off your Consumer Portfolio Services 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.

Step by step guide to refinance


Follow these 7 steps to refinance your Consumer Portfolio Services auto loan:

  1. Figure out your payoff amount
  2. Check if you have positive / negative equity
  3. Compare rates offered by lenders or contact a refinance broker
  4. Calculate your new rate and monthly payments
  5. Sign all the paperwork
  6. Payoff your existing loan
  7. Set up auto-pay with your new lender


Experts’ take on how to refinance


Experts in the refinancing space such as CreditKarma, NerdWallet and Bankrate are strong proponents of auto loan refinancing. That is true for Consumer Portfolio Services customers like you as well as any other auto loan company. NerdWallet even released a list of the 10 Best Auto Loan Refinancing Lenders, followed by Money.com, LendingTree, Investopedia and The Balance.

Personal finance is an important topic. We have seen studies that show how happiness and mental well-being directly correlate with stable and reliable finances. Therefore, we strongly recommend doing a lot of research and then refinancing your Consumer Portfolio Services auto loan.

The experts above have a good general understanding of personal finance. Given our backgrounds (MiT, McKinsey, Bain, Merrill Lynch, Stanford Graduate School of Business, Carvana etc) we are the absolute, unquestioned and unchallenged authority on auto loan refinancing in particular and have published a thorough thought leadership piece about it.

How much does it cost to refinance?


The cost to refinance your Consumer Portfolio Services are somewhere between $15 and $449. In theory, refinancing doesn't cost anything. You don't have early repayment fees on your Consumer Portfolio Services auto loan and the only charge that applies is the fee for the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to change the lienholder on your vehicle title.

However, depending on who you work with to refinance your Consumer Portfolio Services auto loan, you might be incurring some (hidden) fees of up to $449. Take a look at our thorough refinance lender comparison to get a good overview of the cost related to refinancing your Consumer Portfolio Services loan by refinancing company.

How soon can you refinance?


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

Car dealerships 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 challenged (i.e. sub-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 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 Consumer Portfolio Services loan. Lenders don't need to do a hard credit inquiry to make you a firm refinance offer. Neither do they charge an application fee. 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 Consumer Portfolio Services loan outweigh the negative impact of the hard credit inquiry: after you refinance your Consumer Portfolio Services 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.

What happens if I pay extra?


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 Consumer Portfolio Services 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 $750 every year / $63 every month.

Expected Savings from refinancing?


We performed a study on the top 40 auto loan companies to refinance and found that the average Consumer Portfolio Services loan rate is around 19% (within a range of +/- 5%). If you made your payments for 6 / 12 / 18 consecutive months, you're guaranteed to be able to save money on your Consumer Portfolio Services loan.

Your new interest rate should be on the order of 14% or below. That means you will save $500 every year / $42 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 $750 every year / $63 every month when you lower your rate by 5%.

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.

What are current refinance rates?


We can help you get the following Consumer Portfolio Services 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, Consumer Portfolio Services 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 Consumer Portfolio Services refinance offer for your exact and personalized refinance terms.

Can you refinance your Consumer Portfolio Services loan with the same lender?


The answer is short and sweat: no, you cannot refinance a Consumer Portfolio Services loan with the same lender. Consumer Portfolio Services 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 Consumer Portfolio Services, which impacts Consumer Portfolio Services's bottom line. Consumer Portfolio Services would not allow that.

Hence, if anyone challanges you 'Does Consumer Portfolio Services refinance?' or 'Can you refinance through Consumer Portfolio Services?' the answer is simple: Consumer Portfolio Services won't let you refinance your car loan if you currently have your loan with Consumer Portfolio Services. Instead, you need to find a new lender offering a lower rate.

Fortunately, we recently studied the best car loan refinance 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 auto refinance loans. Our partner lenders can offer the lowest rates and can help with lease buyouts as well as refinancing.

Best bank for refinancing your Consumer Portfolio Services loan?


In our study about the best car loan refinance companies, we explained that we need to distinguish between:

  1. Lenders (i.e. banks and Credit Unions who ultimately replace your Consumer Portfolio Services loan with a new one with a lower rate)
  2. Refinance Brokers (i.e. companies that create a marketplace between lenders and you as the customer with a Consumer Portfolio Services loan)
  3. Affiliate Websites (i.e. websites that rank high in Google's search algorithm for e.g. 'how to refinance my Consumer Portfolio Services loan' aiming to get you to submit your contact details)

Best Auto Loan Refinance Companies of 2021

  • Best for Great Credit: Credit Unions
  • Best for Checking Rates Without Impacting Your Credit: Capital One.
  • Best Trusted Name: Bank of America, Chase or WellsFargo.
  • Best for The Most Options: WithClutch.
  • Best for Members of the Military: USAA or Navy Federal CU.
  • Best for Peer-to-Peer Loans: LendingClub although not recommendable.
  • Credit Union with lowest rates: Digital Credit Union and PenFed.

Feel free to submit your details on our digital and 100% online refinance platform for some free advice on which company would be the best fit for you. You'll get a reliable answer with three clicks and in less than 2 minutes.

Things not to do when refinancing


Refinancing your Consumer Portfolio Services auto loan may feel intimidating and overwhelming. That's totally understandable, you don't refinance your Consumer Portfolio Services loan every day and therefore want to avoid a few pitfalls:

Reasons you should not refinance


You should not refinance your Consumer Portfolio Services auto loan if you end up with a higher overall interest charge. That means, you don't want to refinance your loan if you end up in a worse financial product, with a higher interest rate. Let's take a look at the following example:

if you're currently paying 19% and $450 monthly, you don't want to accept a loan at 19% even if the monthly payment might be $400 only because your lender stretched the loan over a longer period of time. It is definitely possible but we highly recommend against it.

We've seen thousands of success stories of clients refinancing their Consumer Portfolio Services auto loans. Some of our clients wanted to reduce their monthly Consumer Portfolio Services payment while keeping the loan term constant. Other clients wanted to reduce the monthly payments by even more and therefore stretched the loan term to 60, 72 and some even 84 months.

And other clients had positive equity in their car - i.e. the remaining Consumer Portfolio Services loan balance was lower than the value of their car - and therefore decided for themselves that the best auto loan from all of our loan offers would be the one with cash-out.

Still, one question a lot of our customers ask us is this: 'I haven't been great about making my payments so my credit score hasn't improved a lot quite yet. However, I really want to lower my monthly payments. Should I refinance, accept a higher rate and stretch the loan over a longer period of time?'

We don't encourage such a refinance. It's a bad financial decision and you're locking yourself into making a lot higher payments over a long period of time. Don't be penny-wise and pound-foolish!

Can I skip a car payment?


You're short on cash and are wondering whether you can skip a car payment with Consumer Portfolio Services? The answer is yes, you can defer one or more payments on your existing auto loan. You have to talk to Consumer Portfolio Services about the deferral first though. You can't just not pay or you risk collection calls and ultimately a repossession.

Ideally, you give Consumer Portfolio Services a call at 1-800-304-6812 and describe your situation. Consumer Portfolio Services'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 Consumer Portfolio Services, they will defer one or more payments out of courtesy and to help you with your repayment.

All that said, you can lower your Consumer Portfolio Services 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 Consumer Portfolio Services have a grace period?


The Consumer Portfolio Services late payment policy provides a grace period of 7 to 15 days. Grace periods vary from lender to lender and due to the coronavirus 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 advise not to take advantage of Consumer Portfolio Services'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 Consumer Portfolio Services 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 Consumer Portfolio Services loan. Each individual retail and installment contract - the contract you signed when you got your car and Consumer Portfolio Services 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 Consumer Portfolio Services late fees.

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

Refinance your Consumer Portfolio Services loan now


Haven't explored refinancing yet? Take a look at our exhaustive article about all the auto refinance companies and you will realize,
WithClutch.com is the only 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.