I recently bought a new backpack. Not an exciting purchase in and of itself (unless you are a bag fanatic, like me). I went to a retail store and found a backpack that I thought was cool. It was bigger than I needed, but I can always find stuff to fill it up, I thought.
As I was trying it on, I found a second backpack that was smaller and cheaper than the one I was intending to buy. Throwing an impertinence built on years of buying something I needed like I needed a hole in the head, I put down the bigger backpack and bought the smaller one.
I took it home and immediately had buyer's remorse. I wanted the bigger backpack. I should have bought that one.
Before going back to the store to return my purchase in favor of my original selection, I did a quick check online to see what people thought of the bag that was sitting on my kitchen table. They loved it. The internet was crazy-go-nuts for what I was planning on returning.
Like the most devout of lemmings, my opinion on the backpack immediately changed and I'm growing to like it more everyday.
That's a really long story, but it helps illustrate a point.
One of the many powers of the internet is to validate and support a decision you're looking to make. The amount of information and data online is infinite. And growing everyday. That can be a good thing and a bad thing. Especially to someone like a car owner.
TechCrunch recently profiled a start-up called LoanLook, which is aiming to help students manage their student loans. The company offers live counseling services, applications to help determine how much money to pay each month, and a repository of documents that can be stored and accessed via the cloud. This is a product that could have tremendous applications in the auto finance industry.
The opportunity to chat with a counselor while negotiating a car purchase or determining whether to finance or lease a vehicle would be an invaluable tool. As would access to data that could help determine whether a borrower should refinance, extend a lease or return a vehicle, or finance a longer-term loan at a higher interest rate to try and keep monthly payments down.
Information is a great tool. But too much information is a roadblock. Generic auto finance information is available at thousands of stops on the information superhighway. But specific information is nearly impossible to find. A tool like LoanLook could change all that.