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Charles Schwab auto loan alternatives

Compare three alternative lenders with low interest rates and competitive terms.

Charles Schwab’s main focus is on banking and investing, not loans. The few loan options it does have are secured by your investment portfolio — not ideal for financing a car.

But you still have options. There are other banks, credit unions and online lenders with competitive on both new and used cars to make up where Charles Schwab falls short.

3 alternatives to Charles Schwab auto loans

If you’re looking for an auto loan specifically from a traditional lender, Bank of America and PenFed may be able to help. And if you want to see what sorts of rates and terms you might qualify for, LendingTree is a good place to compare multiple lenders, including other banks and credit unions.

Bank of America Auto Loans

Bank of America offers auto loans for both new and used cars from a dealership or a private seller — rare for a bank. Its interest rates start low at just 5.39%, and you could also knock off up to 0.5% from your APR with a qualifying Bank of America account.

If you're prequalified for an auto loan through Bank of America, you have 30 days to shop. And if you already have a car loan that you're paying off, Bank of America also offers refinancing that may be able to help you score better rates or terms.
  • Low rates on a variety of loan options
  • Works with dealerships and private sellers
  • Hefty APR discount of 0.5%
  • Must borrow at least $5,000
  • Strict vehicle eligibility requirements
  • Not upfront about fees
Loan amount$5,000 – $100,000
APRStarting at 5.39%
Minimum credit scoreVaries
Loan term1 to 6.25 years

PenFed Auto Loans

PenFed requires you to be a member to access its auto loans. But you'll certainly reap the rewards. It offers some of the lowest interest rates out there on loan terms stretching up to 84 months.

With a car-buying service, a payment reduction program and great rates on refinancing, it's a competitive option. And as a credit union, you'll have access to the same services you'd have at a bank. Even with somewhat limited branch locations, PenFed is a solid alternative to Charles Schwab and most online lenders.
  • Extremely low starting APR for new and used loans
  • Car-buying service available
  • Open an account with as little as $5
  • Must be a member
  • Branch locations limited to select states and US territories
Loan amount$500 – $150,000
APRStarting at 5.19%
Minimum credit scoreVaries
Loan term3 to 7 years


LendingTree is a connection service, not a direct lender, which gives you the opportunity to compare offers from multiple providers with one online form. It saves you time — and a hard hit to your credit score — plus you also get an idea of what rates and terms you may be eligible for.

The lenders in its network offer both new and used auto loans, as well as refinancing and lease buyouts, with low starting rates and terms of up to 84 months. And like Bank of America, you can purchase a car from both a dealership or private seller. However, former customers have complained about fielding marketing phone calls and emails from its network of lenders.
  • Network of lenders with competitive APRs
  • Quickly compare offers and options from banks, credit unions and online lenders
  • Complaints about a high volume of marketing materials
  • Good to excellent credit required
Loan amountNot stated
APRStarting at 1%
Minimum credit scoreGood to excellent credit
Loan term1 to 20 years

Does Charles Schwab offer similar loans?

Not really. While Charles Schwab offers two secured lines of credit that are backed by your investment portfolio, this might not be the best option for purchasing a car. Especially if you’d rather use your car as collateral rather than your stocks, bonds and other investments.

Bottom line

Charles Schwab may not offer auto loans, but that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. Whether you’re interested in buying an expensive car or securing a competitive rate — or both — there are other lenders that may be able to help.

You should browse our list of best auto loans and learn more about current auto loan rates before making a final decision.

Compare more auto loan providers

Name Product Filter Values Minimum credit score APR Loan term Requirements
LightStream Auto Loans
Good to excellent credit
2 to 7 years
Must have a good to excellent credit profile, be a US citizen or a permanent resident with a valid green card, have a valid Social Security number, credit card verification requested upon loan approval and have a valid US address.
Quick car loans from $5,000 to $100,000 with competitive rates for borrowers with strong credit.
Varies depending on the lender
3 to 6 years
Varies depending on the lender
Go to site
CarsDirect auto loans
No minimum credit score
Varies by network lender
Must provide proof of income, proof of residence, and proof of insurance.
Save time and effort with this lending service specializing in beginner-friendly or subprime car loan.
No minimum credit score
3.9% to 27.9%
1 to 6 years
18+ years old, annual income of $4,000+, no active bankruptcies
Get pre-qualified for used car financing and receive competitive, personalized rates.
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Kellye Guinan is a freelance editor and writer, specializing in consumer lending. Her writing and analysis has been featured on Bankrate, MSN and MediaFeed. She holds degrees in anthropology and German language and literature from Middle Tennessee State University. See full bio

Kellye's expertise
Kellye has written 132 Finder guides across topics including:
  • Personal, business, student and car loans
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