Compare $20,000 car loans | finder.com
Honda civic driving through the mountains

Compare $20,000 car loans

We value our editorial independence, basing our comparison results, content and reviews on objective analysis without bias. But we may receive compensation when you click links on our site. Learn more about how we make money from our partners.

Which option to choose for competitive rates, fast turnaround and more.

On the hunt for a car with a $20,000 price tag? You have plenty of new and used models to choose from, as well as a few financing options to consider. While secured car loans from a third-party lender might come with the most competitive rates, leasing or financing directly through a dealer can likely get you behind the wheel faster.

car.Loan.com Car Loans

car.Loan.com Car Loans

Get matched with a local car dealership to finance your car purchase. Bad credit, no credit OK

  • Specializing in 'buy here, pay here' car loans. No banks or credit unions.
  • Typically hear back from a rep within 24 hours.
  • Free loan-matching service. No obligation offers.

    What are my $20,000 car loan options?

    Here’s how your different financing options stack up:

    • Secured car loans. Banks, credit unions and online lenders all offer secured car loans backed by the car you’re purchasing. These usually come with the most competitive rates, though it can take time to compare lenders and fill out prequalification forms. Rates for secured car loans typically range from around 3.5% to 19% APR depending on your credit score and personal financial situation.
    • Unsecured personal loans. Don’t want to use your car as collateral? An unsecured personal loan from an online lender, bank or credit union may be a better fit. You could borrow $20,000 with a personal loan. However, these typically come with higher rates — usually between 5% and 36% APR.
    • Dealership financing. Financing through a dealership is usually the easiest and fastest option, but it also tends to come with higher interest rates. This is because the dealer usually tacks on extra interest and fees to act as the middleman between you and the lender.
    • Car leases. Not sure you’re ready to buy? Like driving the latest model? Leasing through a dealer might be for you. Essentially, you rent the car for a set period of time — usually two or three years. Once your contract is up, you have the option to continue the lease, upgrade to a new car or purchase the vehicle outright. However, leases typically come with mileage restrictions — and it can get expensive if you go over them.

    Compare $20,000 car loans

    Rates last updated January 17th, 2019

    Reveal your potential loan offers and rates

    Answer two quick questions to filter the loan offers and get the best one for you.

    Select your credit score range

    I don't know my credit score

    Finally, select where you live.

    To get your credit score:

    Experian logo

    Experian is a leading provider of personal and business credit reporting. Find out your FICO score now for less than the cost of a cup of coffee.

    Unfortunately, none of the personal loan providers offer loans for that credit score. If you are in urgent need of a small loan, you might want to consider a short term loan.
    Name Product Product Description Min. Credit Score Term of Loan Requirements
    car.Loan.com Car Loans
    Apply with a simple online application to get paired with a local auto lender. No credit and bad credit accepted.
    300
    Varies by lender
    Must be a US citizen with a current US address and employed full-time or have guaranteed fixed income.
    Auto Credit Express Car Loans
    Get connected with an auto lender near you, even if you have bad credit.
    300
    Typically 3 to 6 years
    Must be employed full-time or have guaranteed fixed income of at least $1,500/month and be a current resident of the US or Canada.
    LightStream Auto Loans
    Quick car loans from $5,000 to $100,000 with competitive rates for borrowers with strong credit.
    Good to excellent credit
    Flexible terms
    Good or excellent credit, enough income or assets to afford a new loan, US citizen or permanent resident, 18+ years old
    LendingClub Auto Refinancing
    Lower your monthly car payments and save on interest through a fast and easy online application process.
    Fair or better credit
    Minimum of 2 years
    Car must be less than 10 years old with fewer than 120,000 miles. Current loan must have a balance between $5,000 and $55,000 and at least 24 months left in its term.
    RateGenius Auto Loan Refinance
    Connect with a network of over 150 lenders to refinance your car loan.
    510
    Varies
    Income of $2,000+/month, vehicle has less than 150,000 miles and is no older than 8 years, loan balance is between $10,000 and $100,000, debt-to-income ratio is less than 50%
    LendingTree Auto Loans
    Compare multiple financing options for auto refinance, new car purchase, used car purchase and lease buy out.
    Good to excellent credit
    Typically 1 to 7 years
    Must be a US citizen and 18+ years old. Must have good to excellent credit.

    Compare up to 4 providers

    How to compare $20,000 car loans

    When comparing your car loan offers, keep these factors in mind to ensure you get the best deal:

    • Interest rate. Interest makes up the bulk of your car loan expense, so you’ll want to find the lowest rate out there. Most lenders let you choose between fixed and variable rates. Fixed rates stay the same throughout the life of the loan and can be easier to budget for. Meanwhile, variable rates fluctuate due to changes in the lending market and can go lower — or higher — than fixed rates.
    • Loan term. Traditional car loans come with terms from three to seven years. In general, the shorter the term, the lower the interest rate. However, this will also lead to higher monthly repayments. Use our car loan calculator to find the shortest term with repayments you can comfortably afford each month.
    • Fees. Watch out for lenders that charge high application, origination or documentation fees. You could also be on the hook for prepayment penalties if you pay off your loan before your term is up.

    Should I buy a new or used car?

    There’s always going to be a debate over which is better: new versus used cars. For many, there’s a certain peace of mind that comes with owning a brand-new car, like having a warranty, knowing there’s no possibility of previous damage and that enticing new-car smell. However, new cars decrease in value at a steep 40% after the first three years of ownership due to depreciation.

    With a used car, you’re usually able to benefit from a lower sticker price. But it might not have the latest bells and whistles that the latest model has. And while there’s a risk of not getting what you paid for, this is less likely if you go through a certified preowned dealer rather than a private seller.

    Top cars under $20,000

    While $20,000 won’t snag you a new Benz, it can get you a pretty nice car — new or used. Here are some of the top cars in your price range currently on the market:

    New cars

    • 2019 Honda Civic
    • 2018 Mazda 3
    • 2018 Ford Focus
    • 2019 Hyundai Elantra
    • 2019 Kia Forte

    Used cars

    • 2015 Audi A3
    • 2017 Jeep Compass Sport
    • 2016 Ford Escape
    • 2014 Volkswagen Jetta
    • 2016 Subaru Crosstrek

    *Prices as of November 2018.

    Back to top

    4 questions to ask before applying for a $20,000 car loan

    Not sure a $20,000 car loan is right for you? Ask yourself these questions to help you decide:

    • How much will it cost me overall? Although it might seem like you only owe $20,000, this isn’t entirely true. Once you factor in dealer fees, taxes, title and registration fees — on top of your loan’s interest and fees — the cost can quickly add up. Make sure you can comfortably afford repayments before borrowing $20,000.
    • Can I make extra payments without getting charged? Suppose you come into some extra cash that you want to put toward your car loan. Does your lender charge prepayment penalties? If so, is it worth paying the fee to avoid extra interest building up?
    • Is my job stable? If you’re worried about layoffs or considering switching careers, you might want to hold off on taking out a car loan until you’re on more solid financial ground.
    • Can I afford to maintain a vehicle? In terms of a car’s running costs, you’ll want to make sure you can afford to pay for fuel, insurance premiums and general vehicle maintenance before committing to a car loan.

    Bottom line

    If you have decent credit and want to get a loan as quickly and easily as possible, financing through a dealer might be your best bet. However, you might be able to score a more competitive deal by comparing your car loan options from banks and online lenders yourself.

    Learn more about how they work and compare lenders with our guide to car loans.

    Frequently asked questions

    Image source: shutterstock

    Back to top

    Kellye Guinan

    Kellye Guinan is a writer and editor with finder.com and has years of experience in academic writing and research. Between her passion for books and her love of language, she works on creating stories and volunteering her time on worthy causes. She lives in the woods and likes to find new bug friends in between reading just a little too much nonfiction.

    Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

    Ask an Expert

    You are about to post a question on finder.com:

    • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
    • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
    • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
    • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

    Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

    By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

    Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
    Go to site