Advertiser Disclosure

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.

In this article, We will give you a list that will point you to a number of reputable auto lenders to help you decide where to apply, whether you have excellent credit or not. From this list and our research, we will also help narrow down the top three best auto loan companies. To help along your application process there will also be some tips on how to get the best auto loans, a calculator to help you find what you can afford, and what types of auto loans are out there.

Lending Partner
Loan Term
Min. APR
Min. Credit Score
Highlights
Refinance Loan
Loan Term Up to 72 Months
Min. APR 2.25%
Min. Credit Score 580
Highlights
  • Excellent customer ratings
  • Low rates for good credit customers
  • Strong industry reputation
Used Car Loan
Loan Term 24-84 Months
Min. APR 2.24%
Min. Credit Score 800
Highlights
  • Below-average credit scores accepted
  • Great interest rates
  • Smooth and easy online experience
Refinance Loan
Loan Term 48-84 Months
Min. APR 1.99%
Min. Credit Score 550
Highlights
  • Average monthly savings of $150
  • Work with a personal loan concierge to compare options
  • A+ BBB Rating
Refinance Loan
Loan Term 36-72 Months
Min. APR 2.91%
Min. Credit Score 640
Highlights
  • Apply online in minutes
  • A leading provider in refinance loans
  • A+ BBB rating
Used Car Loan
Loan Term Up to 72 Months
Min. APR 3.99%
Min. Credit Score 300
Highlights
  • Great for customers with limited/no credit
  • Offers special military rates
  • A+ BBB rating
Refinance Loan
Loan Term 24-84 Months
Min. APR 1.99%
Min. Credit Score 800
Highlights
  • Below-average credit scores accepted
  • Great interest rates
  • Smooth and easy online experience
New Car Loan
Loan Term 24-84 Months
Min. APR 2.24%
Min. Credit Score 800
Highlights
  • Below-average credit scores accepted
  • Great interest rates
  • Smooth and easy online experience
Refinance Loan
Loan Term 36-84 Months
Min. APR 1.99%
Min. Credit Score 560
Highlights
  • Average monthly savings of $145
  • Online Application
  • Browse loan options found specifically for you
Refinance Loan
Loan Term Up to 72 Months
Min. APR 3.99%
Min. Credit Score 300
Highlights
  • Great for customers with limited/no credit
  • Offers special military rates
  • A+ BBB rating
Refinance Loan
Loan Term Up to 84 Months
Min. APR 2.49%
Min. Credit Score 500
Highlights
  • Specializes in auto refinancing
  • A+ BBB Rating
  • No application fee

All APR figures last updated on 6/13/2022 - please check partner site for latest details. Rate may vary based on credit score, credit history and loan term.

In This Review:

    Best Auto Loans Providers

    Finding the best auto loans provider also depends on which type of car loan you need: a new car loan, used car loan, or a refinancing loan. The table below shows some information for a few of the best auto loan providers for a variety of borrower types. Some of the companies listed 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.

    Best Places For Car Loans

    Auto Loan ProviderMinimum Credit ScoreLoan AmountLowest APR Offered
    PenFed Credit Union610$500 to $100,0000.99%
    Auto Approve580$5,000 to $85,0002.25%
    RateGenius550$10,000 to $90,0002.39%
    Autopay630$2,500 to $100,0001.99%
    myAutoloan575$5,000 minimum2.49%
    Tresl500$5,000 to $100,0002.49%
    Bank of AmericaNot specified$7,500 minimum2.29%
    Consumers Credit Union640No minimum2.24%
    LightStream660$5,000 to $100,0003.49%* (with AutoPay and excellent credit)
    Auto Credit ExpressNo minimum creditVaries by lenderVaries by lender

    However, 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.

    Best Auto Loan Companies

    Based on the available information, we believe the top three best auto loan companies are as follows:

    • PenFed Credit Union: Best Credit Union For Auto Loans
    • Auto Approve: Best for Auto Loan Refinancing
    • Auto Credit Express: Best Auto Loans For Bad Credit

    In the sections below we will go into detail about each company’s history with borrowers, pros and cons, and customer reviews so you can find the best car loan for you.

    #1 PenFed Credit Union: Best Credit Union For Auto Loans

    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.

    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, though most complaints filed through the BBB regard PenFed home loans. Also, given the size of PenFed, the number of customer complaints is relatively low.

    PenFed Credit Union ProsPenFed Credit Union Cons
    Offers exceptionally low interest ratesModerate customer service reputation
    A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB)Does not offer loans to drivers with poor credit
    Customer reviews describe a slow application process

    #2 Auto Approve: Best For Auto Loan Refinancing

    Auto Approve only offers car loan refinancing, not purchase loans. However, it does this well. While drivers with poor credit may not be eligible for an Auto Approve loan, those who are eligible may find interest rates as low as 2.25 percent.

    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.

    Auto Approve ProsAuto Approve Cons
    Low interest ratesDoes not offer loans to drivers with very bad credit or no credit history
    Strong customer service reputation
    Easy and fast application process

    To learn more about this provider, read our complete Auto Approve review. You can also visit AutoApprove.com to compare rates.

    #3 Auto Credit Express: Best Auto Loans For Bad Credit

    Auto Credit Express specializes in loans for customers with poor credit. The company even has representatives that can help loan seekers build their credit scores through their loan repayments.

    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.

    Auto Credit Express ProsAuto Credit Express Cons
    Offers financing for customers with bad or no creditCurrently has a BBB alert regarding licensing issues
    Pairs customers with loans based on credit profilePoor customer reviews
    Offers special rates for military members

    To learn more about this provider, read our full Auto Credit Express review, and visit AutoCreditExpress.com to compare rates between multiple lenders.

    How To Find The Best Auto Loans

    When shopping for the best auto loans, you’ll get access to the lowest rates if you have a good credit score and financial history. The more money you have, the cheaper interest rate you will be offered. Customers with high credit scores, many assets (such as a house), and a high gross annual income will qualify for better rates.

    If you are trying to improve your credit score, be sure to do the following:

    • Pay your bills on time
    • Pay off credit card bills in full each month
    • Don’t take out many large loans
    • Check your credit report and dispute any inaccuracies
    • Pay down as much existing debt as possible

    Building your credit score can take years, and many people may need an auto loan sooner than they can rebuild low credit. In the short term, you can find good loan terms by comparing offers from multiple lenders and by having someone with strong credit cosign your loan.

    Auto Loan Interest Rates By Credit Score

    Auto loan interest rates go up and down all the time. So, the best auto loans might have different rates during one period than another. Below, you can see average auto loan rates for new and used cars by credit score that apply in the second quarter of 2021. This information comes from Experian’s State of the Automotive Finance Market (Q2 of 2021).

    Credit ScoreAverage New Car Loan APRAverage Used Car Loan APR
    781 to 8502.40%3.71%
    661 to 7803.56%5.58%
    601 to 6606.70%10.48%
    501 to 60010.87%17.29%
    300 to 50014.76%20.99%

    Of course, there is more to an interest rate than your credit score. You can find a lower rate if you are able to make a larger down payment, for example. This reduces the loan-to-value ratio and helps you find more competitive rates. Using an auto loan calculator can help you estimate your monthly payment and total loan ahead of time.

    To start comparing the best auto loans, visit AutoApprove.com and find out what you can afford with our auto loan calculator.

    Auto Loan Calculator

    New Loan
    Refinance Loan
    Price of the car you want
    $
    Down payment
    $
    Length of loan(months) 12
    Annual interest rate
    %
    $ 0 /mo
    Breakdown
    Car price $ 0
    Down payment $ 0
    Length of loan (months) 0
    Annual interest rate % 0
    Total interest paid $ 0
    $ 0 /mo
    Breakdown
    Loan Amount $ 0
    Current Payment $ 0
    New Payment $ 0
    Monthly Savings $ 0
    Total Savings $ 0
    Balance Left on Loan
    $
    Current Interest Rate
    %
    New Rate
    %
    Remaining Loan Terms in Months
    New Loan Terms in Months 12

     

    Types Of Car Loans

    In general, auto financing can be divided into two categories: purchase loans and refinance loans. The loan type that works best for you depends on your personal financial situation.

    Purchase Auto Loans

    A purchase loan is a loan taken out in order to purchase a new or used vehicle. Some lenders may work through dealerships to provide purchase loans, and others may offer to provide loans for private purchases as well. There are also purchase loans for lease buyouts, in which drivers choose to purchase a vehicle after leasing it for an amount of time.

    Refinance Auto Loans

    A refinancing loan is a second loan taken out to pay off an existing auto loan. The reason drivers may choose to refinance a loan is if the new loan offers a lower interest rate, meaning that they will pay a lower overall cost. People whose credit score or income has recently changed may be interested in a refinancing loan. Or, if you feel that your original loan has particularly bad terms, refinancing your loan with a better lender can save you money.

    How To Apply For An Auto Loan

    Many lenders allow borrowers to apply for an auto loan through an online application. In some cases, borrowers can receive same-day financing.

    Auto Loan Requirements

    Typically, to apply for an auto loan you will need to supply the following information:

    • Personal details such as name, address, and age
    • Social security number
    • Gross annual income information
    • Vehicle information such as vehicle identification number (VIN), age, and mileage

    You may also be required to show or submit a copy of the following documents:

    • Driver’s license
    • Pay stubs
    • References

    When you apply for a loan, some companies may offer you the opportunity to have a cosigner, another person who will assume responsibility should you fail to make your loan payments. A cosigner may be required for people with exceptionally poor credit.

    Auto Loan Prequalification and Preapproval

    As with personal loans and other forms of credit, many auto lenders offer a pre-qualification process that doesn’t ding your credit.

    If you want to go into the negotiation with the upper hand, consider getting a pre-approval letter from a lender before you go to the dealership. With this, you can show the dealer you have full credit approval up to a certain amount, and that you’re a serious buyer.

    Best Car Loans: Conclusion

    Based on our research best car loans are provided by PenFed Credit Union, Auto Approve, and Auto Credit Express, but the car loan that is best for you depends on your financial situation. You can find the best car loans at many different providers such as banks, credit unions, and online lenders. There are also various different ways to get the lowest rates so you can get the best auto loan possible. You should shop around and compare options to get the best deal for your needs.

    You can start comparing car loan companies and their rates below:

    Lending Partner
    Loan Term
    Min. APR
    Min. Credit Score
    Highlights
    Refinance Loan
    Loan Term Up to 72 Months
    Min. APR 2.25%
    Min. Credit Score 580
    Highlights
    • Excellent customer ratings
    • Low rates for good credit customers
    • Strong industry reputation
    Used Car Loan
    Loan Term 24-84 Months
    Min. APR 2.24%
    Min. Credit Score 800
    Highlights
    • Below-average credit scores accepted
    • Great interest rates
    • Smooth and easy online experience
    Refinance Loan
    Loan Term 48-84 Months
    Min. APR 1.99%
    Min. Credit Score 550
    Highlights
    • Average monthly savings of $150
    • Work with a personal loan concierge to compare options
    • A+ BBB Rating
    Refinance Loan
    Loan Term 36-72 Months
    Min. APR 2.91%
    Min. Credit Score 640
    Highlights
    • Apply online in minutes
    • A leading provider in refinance loans
    • A+ BBB rating
    Used Car Loan
    Loan Term Up to 72 Months
    Min. APR 3.99%
    Min. Credit Score 300
    Highlights
    • Great for customers with limited/no credit
    • Offers special military rates
    • A+ BBB rating
    Refinance Loan
    Loan Term 24-84 Months
    Min. APR 1.99%
    Min. Credit Score 800
    Highlights
    • Below-average credit scores accepted
    • Great interest rates
    • Smooth and easy online experience
    New Car Loan
    Loan Term 24-84 Months
    Min. APR 2.24%
    Min. Credit Score 800
    Highlights
    • Below-average credit scores accepted
    • Great interest rates
    • Smooth and easy online experience
    Refinance Loan
    Loan Term 36-84 Months
    Min. APR 1.99%
    Min. Credit Score 560
    Highlights
    • Average monthly savings of $145
    • Online Application
    • Browse loan options found specifically for you
    Refinance Loan
    Loan Term Up to 72 Months
    Min. APR 3.99%
    Min. Credit Score 300
    Highlights
    • Great for customers with limited/no credit
    • Offers special military rates
    • A+ BBB rating
    Refinance Loan
    Loan Term Up to 84 Months
    Min. APR 2.49%
    Min. Credit Score 500
    Highlights
    • Specializes in auto refinancing
    • A+ BBB Rating
    • No application fee

    All APR figures last updated on 6/13/2022 - please check partner site for latest details. Rate may vary based on credit score, credit history and loan term.

    Best Auto Loan: FAQ

    Below are a few frequently asked questions about the best auto loans:

    Frequently Asked Questions