Picking the best car loan refinancing provider depends on your priorities and financial situation. That’s why we came up with a list of lenders that would fit a variety of refinancing needs.
Our methodology: How we picked these lenders
Our team reviewed over 60 car loan providers and made this selection based on factors such as APR, loan amounts and available terms. We also took factors like state availability, age, mileage and model restrictions into account.
Loyalty discounts and extra services like title transfers also helped win a place on our list of top providers. We aimed to choose providers that could serve a wide range of borrowers, from those with stellar credit to those with no credit.
LightStream: Best for lower rates with excellent credit
Loan amounts: $5,000 to $100,000
Loan terms: 24 to 84 months
If you have excellent credit, LightStream might be the way to go. This online arm of SunTrust Bank might beat the rate offers from competitors§ and has no restrictions on the mileage or age of your vehicle. It also might be able to fund your loan on the same day.† But it has a relatively high volume of complaints on its Better Business Bureau (BBB) page as of November 2019.
RateGenius: Best for comparing offers for all types of credit
Loan amounts: Starting at $10,000
APRs: 2.99% (as low as)
Loan terms: Not stated
This connection service isn’t a lender, but works with over 150 partner lenders across the country that are open to all credit types. You can get connected to a provider by filling out a quick online form.
Its turnaround time of 24 to 48 hours might be longer than other connection services. But it can save you time by handling the paperwork involved in refinancing, such as title transfers. It claims that its customers save an average of $76 a month — though what you save might vary.
This peer-to-peer lender specializes in helping customers lower their monthly repayment by extending their loan term. This might lower your monthly cost, but you’ll only save on the overall cost if you qualify for a lower rate, too — which requires excellent credit.
CarFinance.com: Best for lower rates with poor credit
Loan amounts: $7,500 to $45,000
APRs: 4.99% to 20%
Loan terms: Up to 72 months
Sometimes your credit has improved since you first took out a car loan, but it’s still not strong enough to qualify with most lenders. You still might get a better deal with this provider, which specializes in refinancing for poor-credit borrowers. It offers rates that can compete with lenders that offer excellent-credit car loans, and it has a fast turnaround. But it won’t work with several models or electric cars.
Autopay: Best for lease payoff and cashback refinancing
Loan amounts: $2,500 to $100,000
APRs: 1.99% to 10%
Loan terms: 24 to 84 months
Autopay is a connection service that works with a national network of lenders that specialize in refinancing. Its rates are some of the lowest out there, and it claims some pretty impressive savings — customers pay $95 less per month on average and get rates 50% lower than their original deal.
On top of offering traditional refinancing, its cashback option allows you to refinance for up to $12,000 more than your car loan balance to pay off high-interest debts or make a large purchase. And its lease payoff option allows you to pay off your lease early to avoid paying high mileage fees.
Alliant Credit Union: Best for balances over $100,000
Loan amounts: $5,000 to $1,000,000
APRs: Starting at 2.74%
Loan terms: Up to 84 months
If you’ve got an expensive vehicle, this might be your first stop when refinancing. While most lenders stop at $100,000 — if even — Alliant Credit Union can refinance a car loan with a balance of up to $1 million. It also helps that it offers a 0.4% rate discount for signing up for autopay — most lenders only offer 0.25%, if even. But you’ll need good credit to qualify and must become a member of the credit union when you apply.
PenFed Credit Union: Best for balances under $5,000
Loan amounts: $500 to $100,000
APRs: Starting at 2.99%
Loan terms: Up to 120 months
If you’ve got a car loan under $5,000, your options are limited. But this credit union offers refinancing for balances as low as $500, meaning you can still save at the tail end of your car loan. It offers competitive rates and long terms. But older cars and longer terms tend to get a less competitive deal. And like most credit unions, you have to become a member to apply.
No one refinancing provider is right for everyone. Prequalifying with a few different lenders can help you find the most competitive offer available to you — especially if you find a provider with a rate-beat program.
Not necessarily. While banks might offer more rate discounts and can have lower rates than other types of lenders, they can also be more difficult to qualify with. It could be worth checking if your bank offers a loyalty discount for current customers. But generally, you need excellent credit to qualify.
Generally, car loan refinancing can help you save the most when your credit score, income or other aspect of your personal finances has improved since you originally took out your loan.
You might be able to by negotiating a longer term or lower rate with your current lender. Reach out and explain the situation if you’re struggling to cover your monthly cost. You can check out our article on renegotiating your loan terms for tips and tricks.
† You can fund your loan today if today is a banking business day, your application is approved, and you complete the following steps by 2:30 p.m. Eastern time: (1) review and electronically sign your loan agreement; (2) provide us with your funding preferences and relevant banking information; and (3) complete the final verification process. § After receiving your loan from LightStream, if you are not completely satisfied with your experience, please contact them. They will email you a questionnaire so they can improve their services. When they receive your completed questionnaire, they will send you $100. LightStream’s guarantee expires 30 days after you receive your loan. LightStream reserves the right to change or discontinue their guarantee at any time. Limited to one $100 payment per funded loan. LightStream and SunTrust teammates do not qualify for the Loan Experience Guarantee.
Anna Serio is a trusted loans expert who's published more than 800 articles on Finder to help Americans strengthen their financial literacy. A former editor of a newspaper in Beirut, Anna writes about personal, student, business and car loans. Today, digital publications like Fundera, Business.com, and ValueWalk feature her professional advice, and she earned an Expert Contributor in Finance badge from review site Best Company in 2020.
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