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      August 14, 2020

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Auto Loans

  1. Credible
  2. LendingTree
  3. My Auto Loan
  4. Auto Credit Express
  5. CARCHEX
  6. OneMain Financial
  7. LendingClub
  8. Road Loans
  9. Instant Car Loan

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Best Auto Loans Better Business Bureau Reliability Seal

Best Auto Loans

Where can you get the best auto loans? You're right if you suspect that the answer to that question is "not necessarily at the dealership".

You might initially be lured in by a dealership's attractive 0% financing offers - but unless you've got extremely good credit, you're not going to qualify. And, in the excitement of getting your new (or new-to-you) car, you could wind up with interest rates on your car loan that are even higher than what you'd get elsewhere.

Continue reading below reviews

Best Reviews


2020

Auto Loan Reviews

5 stars
Upstart

UPSTARTTopConsumerReviews.com Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

Upstart believes that a credit score isn't the only factor to consider when giving you an auto loan. Their approval process looks not just at your credit history but also at your educational background, employment history and potential future earnings to determine a more thorough financial portrait - making it more likely that you'll be approved. Upstart loans typically fund within a day, and happy customers praise this service for being easy and affordable. Upstart earns our highest recommendation for auto loans.

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4.5 stars
Credible

CREDIBLE

Want to see which lenders are willing to give you an auto loan without having to fill out multiple applications? Credible is the option for you. Not only is our highest-ranked lender included in their partner network, but also nine other reputable companies. You'll still have to read the terms and conditions of your loan carefully - Credible doesn't fund it, the partner does - but users of this platform say that it streamlines the borrowing process and makes it more likely to get an auto loan that's approved and affordable.

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4 stars
LendingTree

LENDINGTREE

LendingTree offers personal loans ranging from $1,000 to $50,000 that can be used to buy your next car. Their free-to-use service matches you with a variety of lenders who compete for your business. Although LendingTree may have limited auto loans for those with credit scores lower than 640, clients rave about the experience they had when getting financing here.

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3.5 stars
My Auto Loan

MY AUTO LOAN

My Auto Loan can help you get the financing you need for a new or used vehicle, to refinance your current car loan, to buy from a private seller or to buy out your lease. The company has a solid reputation and satisfied customers say that the service connected them with loans they could afford. We wish this loan referral platform offered greater transparency about the four lenders in their network: you won't know until you submit your information what you'll get as an interest rate or which company is offering you financing.

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3.5 stars
Auto Credit Express

AUTO CREDIT EXPRESS

Auto Credit Express works to pair borrowers with their network of partner dealerships who specialize in auto loans for people with bad credit. In other words, you won't get a loan here, but you'll be matched with a local dealership that's willing to work something out. This company actually has an excellent history of making that happen, with thousands of car buyers giving Auto Credit Express high marks. And, because ACE doesn't fund your loan, they won't run your credit report before connecting you with a dealership. Particularly if your credit isn't fantastic, you should see what Auto Credit Express can do for you.

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3.5 stars
CARCHEX

CARCHEX

CARCHEX has a very good reputation in the automotive industry, especially for products like service plans and vehicle inspections. For over 15 years they've been helping customers refinance their auto loans. With nearly 100 lenders in their peer-to-peer lending network, they have the ability to connect you with an excellent loan quote. However, if you're looking for a new loan instead of a refinance, you're out of luck.

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3 stars
OneMain Financial

ONEMAIN FINANCIAL

OneMain Financial has been around for a century, providing personal loans for a wide range of uses - including auto financing. We appreciate their strong reputation and transparency with respect to their fees and interest rates. However, you'll have to visit a local branch to finalize your auto loan, and that won't be possible if you live in one of the six states where OneMain doesn't have a presence. You might also find their interest rates and minimum/maximum loan requirements to be less attractive than some of our higher-ranked sources of car loans.

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3 stars
LendingClub

LENDINGCLUB

LendingClub offers vehicle financing in the form of personal loans up to $40,000. They use a peer-to-peer investing/lending model that makes money available to borrowers who might be turned away by traditional banks. This company has taken steps to increase their transparency with respect to fees and rates, but previous issues led to their rating with the BBB being removed. And, customer feedback is a mixed bag - you'll love LendingClub if things are going as expected, but you could have serious problems with the servicing of your loan.

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1.5 stars
Road Loans

ROAD LOANS

In the past, RoadLoans connected consumers with auto loans for new or used cars, as well as refinancing on already-purchased vehicles. Loans could be approved within a matter of minutes, and the service would even recommend trusted dealerships in the area for using the funds. However, a sharp decline in RoadLoans' reputation with the BBB, plus an application process that now redirects applicants to Chrysler Financial, puts this lender near the bottom of our rankings for auto loans.

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1 star
Instant Car Loan

INSTANT CAR LOAN

Instant Car Loan doesn't directly provide auto loans. They work as a referral service, connecting you with partner lenders in their network. But, the parent company of this business has a "D-" rating with the Better Business Bureau, and we have serious concerns about the security of any personal information (like Social Security numbers) entered when using this site. You'll be much better off getting your auto loan from another lender in our review.

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Continued from above

Savvy consumers know that the best way to get truly competitive rates on auto loans is by comparison shopping with online lenders. Even if you're just starting the research process, it only takes a few minutes to find out how much you're qualified to borrow and with what loan terms. With that information in hand, perhaps with a preapproval letter too, you'll be much more confident walking into the dealership and negotiating the best possible deal on the car itself.

Some providers of auto loans specialize in helping customers with less-than-perfect credit. These lenders can work with you to get a loan that you can afford, and they take into account your whole financial picture - not just your low credit score, previous late payments, or a bankruptcy in your past. Of course, if your credit history is excellent, shopping around for your auto loan online will likely turn up dozens of offers to choose from.

It's important to carefully consider several criteria when evaluating different online lenders. These factors include the following:

  • Reputation. A seemingly-great auto loan is a bad deal if the lender isn't trustworthy. What does the Better Business Bureau say about the company? Have other car shoppers had a good experience?
  • Functionality. How easy does the auto loan site make the borrowing process, from information-gathering to funding? Can you work through the steps of securing your loan quickly and intuitively?
  • Options. To whom does the lender cater (e.g. people with good/bad credit? New/used car shoppers?)? Do you have a wide range of loans to choose from, both with respect to interest rates and length of the loan period? Are there any perks or penalties in the fine print?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best auto loan providers available today. We hope this information helps you get the right financing for your next vehicle purchase or refinance!

What You Should Know Before Getting An Auto Loan

Buying a new vehicle can either be an exciting experience, or one that stresses you to the max. For some people, it can even be a combination of the two. Sometimes people get caught up in the excitement of buying another vehicle, and find themselves being talked into more than they can reasonably afford. And once the deal is done, it's hard to undo it.

Rushing into buying a new or used vehicle is never a good idea. Unlike other investments, such as real estate, vehicles are a very poor investment. They begin to depreciate in value the minute they are driven off the dealer's lot, and continue to lose value for every year of ownership. However, for most people, vehicles are a necessity in order to get to work and other places they need to go. If you are lucky enough to live in an area with stellar public transportation, a vehicle is something you likely can do without. But for anyone living outside the reach of decent public modes of transport, a vehicle is a necessary evil.

Before buying any vehicle, whether new or used, shoppers should consider a few things.

First and foremost is to determine affordability. How much vehicle can you reasonably afford to own without going broke in the process? As a general rule, buyers should not spend more than 20 percent of their monthly income after taxes on a vehicle. If you are spending more than that, you risk overextending yourself financially and running the risk of ruining your credit report.

To estimate how much of a monthly payment you can afford, be sure to look at more than the purchase price of the vehicle. You must also factor in the interest rate, maintenance fees and insurance for the vehicle. All of these things should be considered under the 20-percent umbrella rule.

Consumers also should do some hefty research on the best way to secure financing if they are unable to cover the full cost of the vehicle's purchase price in cash. One of the best places to look for an auto loan is through online auto loan companies. Some of these businesses have access to a large number of loan companies and can automatically compare their auto loan rates, delivering only the best ones to you.

Some websites also provide a valuable tool when researching loans and interest rates. Consumers are able to use prediction software to plug in their local zip code and generate a list of the going interest rates in their area. Some online calculators also will take all of the factors involved in owning a vehicle purchase price, insurance, maintenance and financing and generate a monthly cost for you. It's always good to make use of these kinds of resources to be certain you're not overextending yourself financially.

Another place to look for an auto loan is with your own financial institution. Having a solid financial history with a bank can help to secure a good deal. With longstanding customers, a bank may be able to negotiate a fair interest rate for you, and certainly better than what you could find through the car dealer.

Securing a loan through the auto dealer is usually not the best idea. It usually is the most expensive option when it comes to financing. While auto dealers may have a variety of financial institutions to tap in order to get a variety of interest rates and offers, they also are permitted to add up to a 3-percent fee on to the total in order to compensate themselves for securing the loan. So as a general rule, auto dealers should be the last place you look for a loan.

 

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