Best Auto Loans (The 2019 Edition)

Are you in the market for a new vehicle? Finding your ride is the easy part but getting approved for a loan may be a bit more legwork. And if you have less than perfect credit, you may encounter a few roadblocks along the way. So, we’ve compiled a list of options to help you get started. Here are the best auto loans on the market:

Best Auto Loans for Good Credit

If you have excellent or even good credit and the income to back it up, you shouldn’t have any trouble securing a loan with a competitive interest rate. Here are some of the best options on the market:

CarsDirect

For over 20 years, CarsDirect has made car ownership dreams a reality for over 5 million customers. They are an online search tool that connects those searching for an auto loan with a lender in their network that offers competitive financing terms.

Prospective borrowers can get approved for an auto loan for CarsDirect with an APR as low as 3.09 percent, which is one of the lower rates on the market. (If your credit isn’t up to par, you’ve recently filed for bankruptcy, or you’re a credit newbie, CarsDirect may be able to assist, but you’ll pay more in interest).

You can apply online or call 1-888-227-7347 to get started. It only takes 60 seconds to complete the loan request form, and you should hear back from a dealer within the CarsDirect network within 24 hours regarding financing options if you pre-qualify for a loan.

Lending Tree

Lending Tree allows you to view multiple offers from auto lenders through their website. Lenders in their network offer repayment terms from one to seven years with APRs as low as 3.09 percent.

But if your credit falls below what they deem as excellent or good, you won’t automatically be denied. Instead, you may be offered a higher interest rate or and asked to make a larger down payment to get approved.

Ready to explore your loan options? Select the type of loan you’re looking for along with the desired loan term. Next, you’ll be prompted to answer the series of questions to view your results. You can also call 1-800-413-4620 to speak with a customer care representative.

MyAutoLoan

Another way to view several auto loan options at your fingertips is the myAutoloan.com platform. It only takes two minutes of your time to input identifying and income information to determine what loan offers you qualify for. And if the platform finds a match, you’ll be presented with options from up to four lenders in real-time.

Interest rates for well-qualified borrowers start at 2.74 percent. But if you are unsure of where your interest rate will lie on the APR spectrum., you can use the Auto Loan Interest Rate Calculator to get an idea of where you stand based on the desired loan type, loan amount your credit rating, credit score, and zip code.

You can apply via the website or by calling 1-214-540-3350. If approved, you’ll receive a check or online certificate to purchase your vehicle within 24 hours. However, there’s no obligation to accept any of the finance offers presented if they aren’t a good fit.

Best Auto Loans for Bad Credit

What if your credit doesn’t hit the mark and you fall into the subprime borrower category? Don’t fret? You may still be able to secure financing for a new ride. Start by seeing what these lenders have to offer:

Auto Credit Express

Auto Credit Express is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and has helped scores of customers with bad credit find auto loan financing. Their online lending tool matches prospective borrowers with lenders that can serve them.

Recent bankruptcies and major collection issues won’t automatically disqualify you for financing. Furthermore, you may not be required to make a large down payment as some lenders may accept as little as $500.

Rates and repayment terms vary by lender, and you can view your loan options by using the online form found on the website without impacting your credit score. Prefer to speak with a loan representative by phone? Call 1-855-439-0814 to get started.

Blue Sky Auto Finance

Blue Sky Auto Finance, a lending network that has been around for over 14 years, is connected to an array of lenders that specialize in bad credit auto loans. The loan term you qualify for will depend on your individual financial profile, but past bankruptcies and collections are ok.

Loan amount of $30,000 with repayment periods of up to 72 months are available. Even better, you may qualify for an interest rate (APR) as low as 3.99 percent on your auto loan.

To explore your loan options through a lender in the Blue Sky Auto Finance Network, complete the three-step form found on the website. You can also call 1-800-BLUE-SKY for additional assistance. The information input in the search tool will be analyzed and matched with up to four lenders that you may be able to help you secure financing.

Capital One Auto Finance

If you have a credit score of at least 500, Capital One Auto Finance may be able to assist you with an auto loan. You can get pre-qualified online in just a few minutes with no impact to your credit score.

And once you’re in the clear, they offer an Auto Navigator that lets you explore vehicles for sale by over 1,000 dealers in their network. Even better, you can conduct advanced searches by the desired year, make, and model of the vehicle, and view the pricing information based on the loan terms you qualify for.

Before getting started, you should know that the vehicle must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a price point of at least $4,000
  • Not have over 120,000 miles
  • Be at least 2008 or newer

DriveTime

DriveTime is a leader in the industry for bad credit auto loans. You can initiate the loan application process online or by visiting a DriveTime location, picking out the vehicle of your choice, and discussing financing options from there.

What makes them unique is that they have a fleet of over 15,000 used vehicles, and handle the financing in-house so you won’t have to go elsewhere. And all types of credit are accepted as long as you have the income to make payments on the loan.

RoadLoans

RoadLoans also caters to lenders with bad credit. They are a direct lender with over 14,000 dealers in their network. Auto loans are available on both new and used vehicles, you don’t necessarily have to make a hefty down payment to get approved.

You can check your rates by applying online or calling 1-888-276-7202. You’ll receive a lending decision in seconds so you can start shopping right away. But if you’d prefer to search for loans from other lenders or ditch the auto buying process altogether, you won’t be penalized as there’s no obligation to accept the loan offer you receive.

Traditional Banks

Prefer to do things the traditional way? Below is a list of brick-and-mortar banks that have reputable auto loan products worth considering:

Bank of America

In just about every city in the U.S., you’ll spot Bank of America filled with representatives waiting to do business with you. Their rates on 60-month loan terms start at 3.59 percent. However, this figure varies by your state of residence, loan term, and creditworthiness. And you may qualify for an even lower rate if you’re an existing Bank of America customer.

To see if you qualify for an auto loan from Bank of America, complete their brief online application. You’ll receive an instant decision and can shop in confidence knowing that your financing is already taken care of.

Chase

Chase is another traditional lender that offers competitive financing options for vehicle purchases. They’ve been around for several years and have served over 3.7 million auto loan customers.

Interest rates start at 4.34 percent APR, by vary by loan term and creditworthiness. And you’ll have 48, 60, or 72 months to pay off your loan balance. If you wish to see an estimate of the loan terms you’ll receive, use the Auto Loan calculator found on the website. You’ll need to indicate if you’re seeking a new or used vehicle, along with the year and make, your state of residence, your estimated credit rating, and the amount you’re looking to borrow.

LightStream

LightStream by SunTrust Bank is one of the only lenders in the auto loan marketplace that offers fee-free loans to borrowers with excellent credit. Interest rates start at only 3.34 percent when you enroll in AutoPay, and you’ll receive a loan term from 24 to 84 months. (You can view interest rates by loan amount and repayment period directly on the website).

Other borrower perks include:

  • The Rate Beat Program: LightStream will lower your interest rate (APR) by .10 percentage points if you find a lender offering a better rate. Conditions apply.
  • The $100 Loan Experience Guarantee: if you aren’t satisfied with the loan experience, you’ll receive $100 for your troubles.

You can initiate the loan application process online or by visiting a SunTrust Bank branch. If approved, submit the requested documentation and you could receive your loan proceeds the same day.

USAA

If you’re a USAA customer searching for an auto loan, you’re in good hands. Their interest rates (APRs) are as low as 3.09 percent and 3.79 percent on new and used auto loans, respectively. Even better, you can lock in your rate for up to 45 days if you need time to explore other loan options or find the perfect ride.

You could also qualify for a loan term of up to 84 months, which makes your monthly payment more affordable. And they even offer a car buying service to facilitate the search process and help you save a bundle on the final purchase price.

To determine if you pre-qualify, submit the online application. It only takes a few minutes and if approved, you can upload the supporting documents, e-sign your loan contract, and receive a check to go shopping in a jiffy.

Credit Unions

Credit unions also have a track record of extending low rates to auto loan customers because of their cooperative structure. Here are some of the best choices out there:

Alliant Credit Union

You may qualify for an auto loan with an interest rate (APR) as low as 3.74 percent. Even better, a 0.50 percent rate discount applies if you use their car buying service to find the perfect vehicle for you. The lowest rates are only available on auto loan terms of up to 60 months, but you may qualify for a repayment term of up to 84 months.

Alliant accepts auto loan applications by phone at 1-800-328-1935 or online. Funding decisions are usually made the same business day, and customer service representatives are standing by 24/7 to assist you with your purchase. And once your loan is approved and finalized, proceeds will be forwarded to your or the dealer overnight via FedEx.

Navy Federal Credit Union

The auto loan rates offered by Navy Federal Credit Union are among some of the lowest in the industry. Depending on your credit rating, you could qualify for financing on a new or used vehicle with a rate as low as 2.99 percent (APR). They also offer repayment terms from 36 to 96 months, so you can tailor the monthly payment so it’s affordable and doesn’t implode your budget.

Their application process is straight-forward and won’t take up too much of your time. Even better, you’ll know within five minutes if you’re approved so you can start shopping for the car of your dreams.

Suncoast Credit Union

Suncoast Credit Union members can access rates as low as 3.25 percent (APR) on new and used auto loan financing. Loan terms start at 36 months, but you may be eligible for a repayment period as long as 72 months.

They also offer a car buying service via CU Auto Branch that allows you to save a bundle on your new vehicle. Or you can purchase a vehicle through a member-only Suncoast Car Sale, and receive up to 125 percent loan-to-value.

To apply, complete the online application. You can also visit a branch to explore your auto loan options.

The Bottom Line

When shopping for an auto loan, be sure to explore several lenders before making a decision. That way, you can rest assured that you’re securing the most competitive financing terms.

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