Auto Car loans

Compare and apply for a car loan

Buying a new or used car, or refinancing your auto loan? Learn how to find the right financing option and get on the road for less.

You only appreciate the convenience of a car when you don’t have one. Whether you’re looking at a vehicle just to get you from A to B, or a transport option for your growing family, a car loan can get you the vehicle you need while you pay off the purchase price over time.

How can you compare your car loan options? What features should you be looking for? We’ll take you through the right questions so you can select the car loan that meets your needs.

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.

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    Rates last updated October 18th, 2017

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    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 at least 18 years old, a US citizen with a current US address and employed full-time or have guaranteed fixed income.
    Auto Credit Express Car Loans
    Get matched with an auto lender near you, even if you have bad credit.
    300
    Typically 3 to 6 years
    Must be at least 18 years old and a current resident of the US or Canada. Must be employed full-time or have guaranteed fixed income of at least $1,500/month.
    myAutoloan.com Car Loans
    Get up to four offers in minutes through one simple application. Multiple financing types available including new cars, used cars and refinancing.
    550
    24 to 84 months
    Must be at least 18+ years old; have a Social Security number; make $24,000+/year; have no open bankruptcies.
    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 2 to 7 years
    Must be a US citizen and 18+ years old. Must have good to excellent credit.

    Compare up to 4 providers

    What exactly is a car loan?

    If you want to purchase a new or used car, an auto loan (commonly called a “car loan”) gives you a way to pay for it over time. A lender will agree to finance the purchase of the vehicle, and you will pay the loan back over a set term in installments.

    Your payments will include a portion of the amount you borrow plus the annual percentage rate (APR), which is the interest you are charged for borrowing, plus any fees.

    Loans for auto finance

    What types of car loans are available?

    • New car loans. You have the option of getting pre-approval for your loan before you find a car, giving you bargaining power when you get to the dealership. You can also take up financing from the dealer or the auto manufacturer.
    • Used car loans. If you are planning on buying a used car, you may need to find the car first if you want a loan from a bank or credit union. Provide the lender with the make, model and VIN number of the car when you apply. You also have the option of dealership financing if you aren’t buying in a private sale.
    • Refinancing car loans. If you’re already paying off a car loan you may be able to save by refinancing to a loan with a lower rate. Compare your options and see if you can save.
    • Lease buyout. If you want to buy the car you’re currently leasing, you can take out a lease buyout loan to buy your car before the end of your lease. It could help you save you money depending on how much your car has dropped in value and if there are any purchasing fees.
    • Rent-to-own. This type of financing can be helpful for people with bad credit. You’ll pay a monthly toward owing your car, on top of a rental fee.

    Here’s how to compare your options

    Getting the right car loan means knowing what features to look for:

    • What’s the annual percentage rate (APR)? This rate includes the interest you will be charged along with any fees, giving you the true cost of the loan.
    • How long will you have to pay back the loan? While longer loan terms might result in lower monthly payments, you’ll likely pay more over time. Find out the total interest you’ll pay with the loan term and if you can save with a shorter term – and if you can afford the payments. As a car is a depreciating asset, longer payments also increase the likelihood of you paying more than the vehicle’s value at the end of the term.
    • Can you make a down payment? You can save a significant amount on your loan if you make a down payment on your vehicle. If you are pre-approved for a loan with a lender and make a down payment, keep in mind this will be taken out of the loan amount.

    Seven steps to apply for a car loan

    1. Check your credit. Knowing your credit score will help give you an idea of what kinds of lenders you’ll be dealing with. If you’re under 620 you’re going to have different options than someone with a score of 720.
    2. Go over your finances. Ask yourself how much you can really afford to take out. Don’t forget to consider car ownership costs like fuel, maintenance and repairs, taxes and insurance premiums.
    3. Compare lenders. Do some research to find the best rates and terms that fit your financial situation.
    4. Get pre-approved. This usually involves filling out a quick application with your basic personal information and may involve a soft credit check that doesn’t affect your credit score.
    5. Pick your car. Sometimes you’ll get to do this before you get pre-approved, but typically lenders will want to go over your finances first before you decide on a vehicle.
    6. Sign the paperwork. Make sure you read and understand the fine print to avoid any nasty surprises in the future.
    7. Start making payments. You can avoid late fees by setting up autopay to avoid late fees

    Your car loan application checklist

    Ready to apply for your car loan? You’ll need the following on hand:

    • Personal details including your name, address and contact information
    • Information regarding your employment including where you work, your employer’s name and contact details and how long you’ve been employed there
    • Your Social Security number and US citizenship status
    • How much you earn, your current debts and details of any other assets you own
    • Once you know these details, you’ll be required to provide the make of the car you’re purchasing model, year, mileage, VIN number, the county the car is registered in, details of car insurance and the purchase agreement/bill of sale. The vehicle’s registration and title will also be required.

    Three different methods to apply

    • Online. Before you visit the dealership you can apply for pre-approval online with a bank, credit union or other lender. This way, you have a price in mind when you’re negotiating with the car dealer. Compare your options so you can get the most competitive option that you’re eligible for.
    • At the dealership. Financing through dealers or auto manufacturers is another possibility. Keep in mind that 0% finance deals and similar offers that sound too good to be true, usually are just that. For example, if you save money on an interest-free finance deal, you may not get as good a deal on the vehicle price.
    • In-person or over the phone. You can also apply for bank and credit union loans in-branch or over the phone. If you’re opting for dealership financing, the application will usually be handled in-person when you purchase your car.

    What cars can you finance with a car loan?

    With the number of lenders available in the market, you’ll have options no matter what kind of car you want to buy:

    • New cars. When you’re looking to purchase a new car you’ll have a wide range of auto loan options to choose from. New car loans tend to come with the most competitive rates, depending on how good your credit is, and other eligibility criteria. You can apply for the loan before you buy the car so you know how much you have to spend at the dealership.
    • Used cars. You have various financing options whether you’re buying a used car from a dealership or through a private sale. You have the option of applying for the loan before you buy the car, or finding the car and sending the car’s make, model, VIN number and other details when you’re applying for the loan.
    • Luxury cars. Loans of larger amounts are also available for luxury cars. If you’re planning to import a vehicle, you may be able to apply for a loan to cover import costs and taxes on top of the cost of the car itself.

    Using an international money transfer to import a car

    How much do car loans cost?

    Cost will always be the key consideration for an auto loan. When comparing loans and the associated costs, it can help to use a car loan calculator to see what your monthly payments will be. Here are some things to keep in mind:

    • Interest rate vs APR. It’s important to check the interest rate you will be charged as well as the APR. The interest rate is the percentage of the principal that you’re charged for borrowing, while the APR represents all interest and fees expressed as a percentage, and hence gives you a better basis for comparing loan costs.
    • Rebates. Anyone buying a new car will hear about rebates from dealerships. The three main types of rebates are cash rebates, low interest dealership financing and special leases. Government rebates, such as low emission rebates, are also on offer. These rebates really only need to be taken into consideration when you’re considering taking on financing from the dealer.
    • Loan term. A loan with longer terms will make your monthly payments lower, but you will pay more interest over the course of your loan. Be sure to consider the total cost as well.
    I have bad credit, can I still get a car loan?

    If you have bad credit, or even no credit, you can still find a lender to finance your car. As the car can be used as security for the loan, it’s less of a risk for the lender. If your FICO score is in the low range (poor credit is generally considered to be below 649) you can consider specialist lenders, and even some banks. You can also use lead generation companies, who can match you with financiers.

    Some lenders will let you check your rate without it affecting your score so you can get an idea of what your loan will cost. Know your credit score before you start comparing your bad credit auto loan options, and if you’re having trouble finding loans you’re eligible for, consider getting a cosigner.

    Have more questions?

    No, resident or non-resident aliens can apply for loans with some banks or dealership financiers.

    Refinancing can offer you a better rate and lower repayments, and is an option available from many lenders.

    Some lenders will have no restrictions as to where you can buy a car, while others work with a network of dealerships. Check with your lender if it has restrictions in place.

    Each lender will have a set period of time for how long your pre-approval stays in place for. While this varies, it is usually around 30 days.

    This depends on the lender you are applying with. Check the requirements of the loan before you apply.

    Leasing a car can be an option to consider if you’re looking for a newer model car every two or so years – just remember you will never have ownership of this vehicle. Repayments will generally be lower on lease agreements but they are harder to get out of than just selling a car under finance, so you need to be sure you will want the car for the next two years.

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    8 Responses

    1. Default Gravatar
      JustbmoreAugust 1, 2017

      What is a good place to apply for a loan with bad credit that is legitimate ? I want to by an older car but it is sturdy and good mileage but most lenders will not approve it. Any help or suggestions ?

      • Staff
        DanielleAugust 1, 2017Staff

        Hi there!

        Thank you for contacting finder. We are a comparison website and general information service, we’re more than happy to offer general advice.

        You may refer to this page for options that may suit your needs. You may review and compare the offers available on the table. Once you have selected one, you may proceed by clicking the green “Go to Site” button.

        I hope this helps.

        Cheers,
        Danielle

    2. Default Gravatar
      AlJune 16, 2017

      Are prepayment penalties legal in NC on 48 month used car loans? Is rule of 78s legal? Is there a legal ceiling on the interest rate?

      • Staff
        HaroldJuly 2, 2017Staff

        Hi AI,

        Thank you for your inquiry.

        Regarding this matter, you may need to check the legal information here.

        I hope this information has helped.

        Cheers,
        Harold

    3. Default Gravatar
      ElizabethMarch 14, 2017

      I need a loan for a car.

      • Staff
        HaroldJuly 18, 2017Staff

        Hi Elizabeth,

        Thank you for your inquiry.

        You would need apply directly with the lender or a broker. It would be nice if you can make sure that you meet the eligibility requirements so you may have the chance of getting an approval. Please note that eligibility requirements may differ depending on the lender.

        I hope this information has helped.

        Cheers,
        Harold

    4. Default Gravatar
      JosephFebruary 15, 2017

      Can I get a loan. I am in desperate need of transportation

      • Staff
        AdrienneFebruary 15, 2017Staff

        Hi Joseph,

        finder.com is for informational purposes and is not a lender or a broker. Compare your options in the table above and when you’re ready to choose a provider, click “go to site” to be taken to their application. You will apply directly with the lender or broker you choose, so make sure that you meet the eligibility requirements and that it’s the best loan for you.

        Best,

        Adrienne

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