For car loan companies in America, Finding the best auto loans can be tricky. There is a sea of providers out there, and getting stuck with a bad car loan can mean years of debt. The difference between a good interest rate and a bad interest rate can add up to thousands of dollars after all is said and done.
When making this major financial decision, it’s important to compare your loan options. This list will point you to a number of reputable auto lenders to help you decide where to apply, whether you have excellent credit or not. We’ll also explain the application process as well as tips for how to get the lowest auto loan interest rates.
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There is no one best auto loan provider for everyone. While most people looking for loans will want to find a provider offering the lowest annual percentage rate (APR), the interest rate you receive depends on your credit history as well as a number of other factors. Different financial institutions may also offer different minimum and maximum loan amounts.
Finding the best provider also depends on which type of car loan you need: a new car loan, used car loan, or a refinancing loan. The list below shows some information for a few of the best auto loan providers for a variety of borrower types. Some of the providers listed below administer loans directly to customers, while others are brokers that match customers with loans. Both can be good places to start when looking for the best auto loans.
PenFed Credit Union: Lowest APR
PenFed Credit Union was initially started to serve military members and their families, but its services have since been made available to the general public. While not accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), PenFed Credit union has an A+ BBB score.w
The credit requirements for a PenFed Credit Union car loan are higher than many other lenders, but it offers some of the lowest interest rates in the industry. PenFed also offers a car buying service, so you can shop for a vehicle and complete a loan application in one place.
PenFed does have a moderate customer review reputation online. Also, given the size of PenFed, the number of customer complaints is relatively low.
Offers exceptionally low-interest rates
A+ rating from the BBB
Moderate customer service reputation
Does not offer loans to drivers with poor credit
Customer reports describe a slow application process
Auto Approve: Best for Refinancing
If you like your car but you don’t like your car payments, Auto Approve may be able to help you refinance to a loan with lower payments.
This service specializes in helping you refinance to a new car loan with lower interest rates.
But Auto Approve isn’t actually a lender. Auto Approve only offers car loan refinancing, not purchase loans. However, it does this well.
Auto Approve holds BBB accreditation, an A+ rating, and a 4.7 out of 5.0-star customer review score based on about 400 reviews. As even a one-percent interest rate reduction could save you hundreds of dollars, there’s no reason not to see what refinancing offers you can find with Auto Approve.
Strong customer service reputation
Easy and fast application process
Does not offer loans to drivers with very bad credit or no credit
Offers loan refinancing, not purchase loans
Auto Credit Express: Best for Bad Credit
Auto Credit Express offers loans for car purchases or refinances. This platform partners with more than 1,200 different lenders which means credit challenged shoppers may even find a good fit. The company even has representatives that can help loan seekers build their credit scores through their loan repayments.
Auto Credit Express does not set a minimum credit score requirement for auto loan applications. It leaves this decision up to the platform’s different lenders. Customer experiences with Auto Credit Express vary, but few loan providers look to work with customers who have especially bad credit. If you need a vehicle and are having difficulty securing a loan because of poor credit, Auto Credit Express can help. Even drivers going through a bankruptcy or repossession may be able to secure an auto loan from Auto Credit Express
Naturally, the highest qualified shoppers can access loans with the lowest rates and loan payments. But some of Auto Credit Express’s partners may be willing to offer subprime auto lending.
If you have a repossession or bankruptcy in your credit history, give this platform a shot before you visit a car dealer that offers auto financing.
To submit an application, you simply need to be 18 or older with a monthly income of $1,500 or higher. If you have a low credit score or short credit history, this platform is worth a few minutes of your time.
Offers to finance for customers with bad or no credit
Pairs customers with loans based on the credit profile
Offers special rates for military members
Poor customer reviews
Bank of America: Best overall, best for lease buyouts
Bank of America has excellent rates for auto loans currently. Rates for a new car purchase start as low as 2.59% APR, and a used car could be as low as 2.89% APR. Bank of America offers rate discounts for current customers, up to 0.5%.
If you’re interested in buying the car you’re currently leasing but need a loan to do so, Bank of America offers a loan for that. Bank of America offers a variety of auto loans, and like the others, its interest rates are competitive in 2021. Lease buyouts can have higher interest rates than a new or used car loan, but Bank of America’s lease buyout APRs start lower than the rates other lenders offer.
Light stream: Best for excellent credit
If you have a good or excellent credit score, you might want to consider LightStream in addition to Bank of America. Lightstream focuses on auto loans to customers with good or better credit.
Because it focuses on a narrow subset of customers, its rates don’t go too high. However, borrowers with lower credit scores may find better rates elsewhere. LightStream is a direct lender.
LightStream is a stellar choice for borrowers with excellent credit, offering rates as low as 2.49 percent on 24 to 36-month loans. You can even get a rate discount by enrolling in autopay.
LightStream auto loans range between $5,000 and $100,000. You could even spread repayment across up to 84 months. There are no requirements for the make, model, and mileage of the vehicle, giving LightStream an advantage over many of its competitors.
If you have a high credit score and are looking for a loan with low rates and major flexibility, LightStream is a dependable and highly rewarding choice.
If you’re wondering whether or not you can afford a new car, to begin with, LendingTree can help you find out before you visit a car dealership.
When you have access to sites like LendingTree, you should never again show up at a car dealership and submit a loan application hoping it’ll be approved by whatever financial institution the car lot uses. Instead, you can find out, for sure, how much car you can afford using LendingTree’s online quote process
This service will run a soft check of your credit report — which doesn’t hurt your credit score — and then show loan offers based on your creditworthiness. Making a down payment can get you a rate discount, too. With many lenders, signing up for automatic payments will reduce your rate even more.
But regardless of your loan type, LendingTree can remove the guesswork. You can even use the service’s auto loan calculator to find your exact price range before you visit a car dealership. If you like any of the loan offers LendingTree shows, you can then submit an application with that lender.
LendingTree works if you’re getting a new car loan or refinancing an existing car loan. LendingTree works with both used vehicles and new vehicles, too. Whatever goals you have for your auto loan, LendingTree is a great place to start your search.
My Auto loan
This marketplace could also match you with the right used car loan — whether you’re buying from a private party or a used car dealer.This platform can also help you with lease buyouts or refinancing.
myAutoloan works with 20 leading auto financing companies. It’ll show you only the loans whose eligibility requirements you meet. myAutoloan’s lenders won’t finance a car that’s more than 10 years old or has more than 125,000 miles on the odometer.
And, this platform does a hard credit check when you submit your application.Too many hard checks in too short a time period could lower your credit score by a few points.
So use this platform only if you’re certain you’re ready to buy or refinance and only if you know your car meets the criteria. myAutoloan also has auto loan calculators, tips on boosting your credit score, and educational content on car insurance and loans — all very helpful for first-time car buying.
RateGenius is a solid choice for a refinance loan or a lease buyout loan — especially for more expensive cars. The platform generates offers for loan amounts between $10,000 and $90,000.
RateGenius also runs a hard credit check when you apply, so your score could be affected.To qualify for a loan on RateGenius, you’d need a credit score of 550 and a monthly income of at least $2,000.
Qualifying vehicles must be seven years older or less, with a maximum of 100,000 miles. If one of this platform’s partnering lenders denies your application, RateGenius will try with two more lenders.
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If you’re serious about refinancing or doing a lease buyout and are ready to move on an offer, RateGenius is a great pick.
Clearlane by Ally Bank: Best for refinancing
Online bank Ally doesn’t offer financing to purchase a car. But, if you’re looking to refinance the car you already have, its auto lending division Clearlane offers some competitive rates. As long as your vehicle meet the standards (less than 100,000 miles, and fewer than 10 years old), this lender could offer a competitive rate as low as 3.99%. Clearlane also offers auto lease buyouts.
APR range: New/Used/Refinance/Lease Buyout: 3.74% to 7.49%
Loan range: $10,000 to $80,000
Loan length: 36 to 72 months
Available in 48 states with the exception of Nevada and Vermont
AUTOPAY’s sweet spot is refinancing loans, but they also match borrowers with a variety of purchase loans and lease buyouts. As far as vehicle requirements are concerned, your car can’t be older than 11 years or have more than 125,000 miles.
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If you have excellent credit (think 720 or higher), you could get car loan interest rates as low as 1.99 percent, but even if your credit score is average, you’re likely to find a lender with AUTOPAY.
The company’s minimum credit score requirement is 600, with a minimum income of $2,000 a month — both on par for most online lenders. If you’ve worked to boost your credit since the time you took out your original loan, AUTOPAY can likely find you a refinanced loan with better interest rates.