How online car loan approval works |
online car loan approval

How online car loan approval works

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Get approved for car loan from home to save on time and rates.

Finding a car loan online lets you to compare rates and find a good deal before you ever set foot in a dealership’s office. The online application process usually takes just a few minutes, and you’ll learn if you’ve been approved quickly. Plus you’ll be able to drive off in your new set of wheels sooner. Car Loans

Our top pick: 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.

    Compare top car loans you can apply for online

    Rates last updated January 23rd, 2019

    Reveal your potential loan offers and rates

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

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    Finally, select where you live.

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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 Loans
    Apply with a simple online application to get paired with a local auto lender. No credit and bad credit accepted.
    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.
    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.
    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 does online car loan approval work?

    Being approved for a loan online is much like being approved for a loan when you visit the physical location of a lender. You fill out the necessary paperwork and wait to see if you’ve been approved.

    After the lender agrees to finance your loan, it’s time to walk into a dealership and start negotiating for a car. You’ll already know how much you can borrow and the interest you’ll have to pay, so you won’t have to rely on the dealer to give you a good rate.

    What do I need to know before I apply?

    Before you apply, you generally to know how much you can afford to borrow and have and what type of car you’re looking to finance. You can use our monthly payments calculator to find out how much you have to put forward month-to-month

    If you’re qualified lenders can offer you a pre-approval that lasts up to 30 days. This gives you time to search for a car and solidify your choice before committing to the loan and starting payments. Otherwise, you can often have the funds deposited into your account by the next business day.

    How to compare online car loans

    Car loans are offered by banks, credit unions and independent lenders. With so many options on the market, it can be hard to know which one to choose or where you should start. Review these tips to help you find a loan that suits your individual needs.

    • Application process. Some lenders have systems that can analyze your application quickly and provide an answer in very little time. Others might not.
    • Down payment. The amount of your down payment can impact the rates a lender can give you as well as how long you need your loan to last. So the more the better. You can even use a trade-in car as part of a down payment.
    • Total cost. The total cost of a loan is included as the APR. If you compare two loans for the same amount, interest rates and fees affect the total cost of the loan.
    • Documents needed. Will you need to fax a copy of your auto insurance or your driver’s license? Can these things be verified online, saving you time? These factors should help you determine which lender you’d prefer to go with.
    • Dealership connections. If you’ve decided to go through a car loan connection service, research the dealers it partners with to make sure you’ve found a reputable source that you’re comfortable buying from.

    Compare online car loans

    How to apply for an online car loan

    Every lender is different, but these are the basic steps you’ll need to follow when submitting a loan application:

    1. Browse the table above and find a lender that fits you.
    2. Click the Go to Site link to be redirected to the lender’s website.
    3. Fill out the application with your personal and financial information.
    4. Submit your application.

    Most lenders will be able to tell you if you’ve been approved within a few minutes. You can view the interest rate and potential fees before you sign the loan contract. This makes it easy to compare loans.

    Once you’ve decided on a loan, sign the necessary documents and submit. You’re ready to step into a dealership with financing to back you up.

    Pros and cons of getting an auto loan online


    • Quick decision. An online application takes just a few minutes, and you’ll know if you’ve been approved for a loan shortly after.
    • Simplified negotiation. You won’t go into a dealership unsure of how much you can afford when you have an online loan. This makes negotiating the price simpler since you’ll know exactly how much you can pay for a car.
    • Easy comparison. The best part of shopping is comparing your rates. With online applications, you can compare rates from multiple lenders with the click of a few buttons.


    • May seem complicated. Being approved online adds an extra step to the already complicated process of buying a car, and it may not be worth it if you know your dealer has good financing.
    • Not always the best rates. Depending on your credit, a lender may not offer you the best rates. Be open to seeing what type of financing your dealer has before settling on an online loan.

    What to consider before agreeing to the loan

    • Fees and taxes. Generally, the price your dealership asks for doesn’t include costs like sakes taxes and registration fees. Make sure you consider these costs before applying for a loan.
    • Balloon payments. Some car loans come with low repayments for several months and then one large balloon repayment at the end. Make sure you’ll be able to comfortably afford this to avoid refinancing.
    • All financing options. Getting a car loan online is easy, but you might also want to consider what your dealership has to offer and even personal loans to make sure you’re getting the best deal that’s available to you.

    Compare online car loans

    Bottom line

    Finding approval online doesn’t have to be a time-consuming process. With a few clicks, you could be well on your way to financing your next auto purchase. Before you do, compare multiple auto loan offers and read up on what you should expect.

    Frequently asked questions


    Matt is a personal finance publisher who likes nothing more than seeing consumers get a better deal!

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