The Best Auto Loan Rates – August 2019

Banks Editorial Team · August 29, 2019

Best Auto Loan Rates

Getting the best auto loan rates when buying a vehicle is part of the process, that can be intimidating. You want to make sure you’re not being taken advantage of, either by being sold a defective car or truck, or by paying too much for it. But in addition to finding a good mechanically sound vehicle at the best price, you also have to figure out how to pay for it.

Getting an auto loan can add further stress to the car shopping process. Smart buyers can make the loan process simpler by identifying the best interest rate and terms and getting pre-qualified for the financing they need. Did you end up with a loan you aren’t happy with? Refinance auto loans are also an option, particularly if interest rates drop.

 

 

We’ve found the following five auto loan rates to be the best available right now, but it’s always important to check for yourself. In addition to loans from online lenders and traditional banks, your local credit union may be able to give you a great rate for your auto loan.

1. LightStream

A division of SunTrust Bank, LightStream guarantees that they will beat any qualifying loan rate you find. You must have strong credit to qualify, but if you do, you could get financing for as low as 3.99% when you sign up for autopay.

The downside to LightStream, despite its excellent rates and ease of applying, is that the company performs what’s called a “hard pull” of your credit report. Doing this slightly decreases your FICO score, so you should not apply casually. There’s no application fee and you can have co-signers on the loan.

  • Current Interest Rate: 3.99% to 8.34% APR for a new or used vehicle; 4.99% to 9.19% for a private party purchase.
  • Loan Amounts: $5,000 to $100,000
  • Loan Terms: 24 to 84 months
  • Minimum Credit Score: 660
  • Vehicle Restrictions: None
  • Refinance?: Yes, at 3.99% to 8.34% APR.
  • Ease of Use: You can only apply online; the company doesn’t accept email or phone applications. There are no restrictions on the vehicle mileage or age, so you can get financing for virtually any consumer car or truck. Funds come through within a day or two of you accepting the offer.

2. Capital One

Capital One is a big bank, but they have a variety of tools that can help you, including their Auto Navigator that estimates your rate without doing a hard credit pull. They’ll also help you find the vehicle you’re looking for and get you pre-approved for financing before you go to the dealer.

  • Current Interest Rate: Starts at 3.59% APR
  • Loan Amounts: Minimum of $4,000
  • Loan Terms: 24 to 84 months
  • Minimum Credit Score: 500
  • Vehicle Restrictions: No older than 10 to 12 years depending on the state you live in and no more than 120,000 miles. Some makes and models are excluded.
  • Refinance?: Yes, starting at 4.10% APR and with some vehicle restrictions.
  • Ease of Use: Lets you know in advance what rate and amount you qualify for, but your final interest rate depends on your location and the exact vehicle you buy. There’s no application fee. Not available in Alaska or Hawaii.

 

 

3. Consumers Credit Union

In order to get a loan through Consumers Credit Union, you’ll actually have to join the CU, but fortunately that’s easy to do. You’ll need to pay them a $5 joining fee and open a savings account that has a $5 minimum balance. Consumers works primarily with borrowers who have good to excellent credit. Your application will require a hard credit pull. There’s no application fee and co-signers are allowed.

  • Consumers customers also receive limited repair coverage for mechanical issues that includes 24-hour emergency service.
  • Current Interest Rate: 2.99% to 5.19% APR for best credit scores; goes up to 21.99%
  • Loan Amounts: $250 to $500,000
  • Loan Terms: 6 to 84 months
  • Minimum Credit Score: 640
  • Vehicle Restrictions: None, but rates for older vehicles are higher.
  • Refinance?: No
  • Ease of Use: A little more difficult than an online-only app, but reasonably quick. Decisions are made in one day.

4. Carvana

If you’re looking for a used car and don’t need to take the time to find it yourself, you can use Carvana’s service, which includes finding the right car for you online and providing financing. All the cars they sell have relatively low miles and are given a 150-point inspection before sale. You’ll get a CarFax report for free so you can learn more about the vehicle’s past.

Once you get your car, you’ll have 7 days to evaluate it. You can return it at any time in that one-week period and get your down payment back, but you’ll be on the hook for any delivery fees. All vehicles come with a 100-day limited warranty.

  • Current Interest Rate: Customized to you. Example rates show the APR starting as low as 4.43% if you have excellent credit and ranging to just above 20% for below-average credit.
  • Loan Amounts: Depends on the car you choose.
  • Loan Terms: Maximum of 72 months
  • Minimum Credit Score: None, but you have to have verified income of at least $10,000/year.
  • Vehicle Restrictions: Must buy through the Carvana website.
  • Refinance?: No
  • Ease of Use: Great — you don’t even have to leave your house if you don’t want to. The car can be delivered to you (free in some cities or with a fee) once the online paperwork is completed.

5. MyAutoLoan.com

MyAutoLoan works a little differently than a single lender. Instead of providing the financing directly, the company works with many lenders and helps you choose the best fit for your needs in terms of auto loan rates. This works great for people with credit problems, even if they end up paying a relatively higher interest rate. When you’re seeking the best auto loan rates, you’ll need to have excellent credit.

  • Current Interest Rate: 2.74% to 27% APR.
  • Loan Amounts: $8,000 to $100,000
  • Loan Terms: 24 to 84 months
  • Minimum Credit Score: Can be as low as 500, but you’ll get the best rates with an excellent FICO of 720 or better.
  • Vehicle Restrictions: No more than 10 years or 125,000 miles, less for private party financing.
  • Refinance?: Yes, 2.49% to 29.4% APR.
  • Ease of Use: Apply online and you see multiple offers. Not available in Alaska or Hawaii.

 

 

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