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Compare car loans for students

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How to get a car loan as a college student.

Having a car can make student life a lot more convenient — and expensive. If you can’t save up money to buy a car outright or can’t ask your parents for help, consider a car loan. But finding a loan with low interest rates can be tough if you have little or no credit. Find out your student car loan options in the guide below.

Our top pick: car.Loan.com Car Loans

  • Min. Credit Score Required: 300
  • APR: Varies by network lender
  • Requirements: Must be a US citizen with a current US address and employed full-time or have guaranteed fixed income.
  • Easy online application
  • Fast response time
  • Bad credit, no credit OK

Our top pick: 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.

  • Min. Credit Score Required: 300
  • Requirements: Must be a US citizen with a current US address and employed full-time or have guaranteed fixed income.
Promoted

What types of car loans are available to students?

There are two main car loan types to choose from.

  • Secured car loan. Secured car loans usually have lower interest rates because your car is used as collateral. If you default on the loan, the lender has the right to repossess the vehicle. Check that your car is eligible before applying as some lenders place restrictions on a car’s age and condition.
  • Unsecured personal loan. If you want to purchase an older car or get a loan that covers more than just the cost of the car, consider an unsecured personal loan. You’ll likely need a strong credit history for an unsecured personal loan because they’re more of a risk for lenders. Interest rates may be higher, but if you default on the loan you’ll still have your car.

Compare car loans for students

Updated March 22nd, 2019
Name Product Filter Values Minimum Credit Score Loan Term Requirements
300
Varies by lender
Must be a US citizen with a current US address and employed full-time or have guaranteed fixed income.
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 employed full-time or have guaranteed fixed income of at least $1,500/month and be a current resident of the US or Canada.
Get connected with an auto lender near you, even if you have bad credit.
Good to excellent credit
Good or excellent credit, enough income or assets to afford a new loan, US citizen or permanent resident, 18+ years old
Quick car loans from $5,000 to $100,000 with competitive rates for borrowers with strong credit.
Fair or better credit
From 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.
Lower your monthly car payments and save on interest through a fast and easy online application process.
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%
Connect with a network of over 150 lenders to refinance your car loan.
Good to excellent credit
Varies by lender
Must be a US citizen and 18+ years old. Must have good to excellent credit.
Compare multiple financing options for auto refinance, new car purchase, used car purchase and lease buy out.

Compare up to 4 providers

Rates last updated March 22nd, 2019
Name Product Product Description Min Loan Amount Max. Loan Amount Requirements
Boro Personal Loans for Students
Get help paying for college or other expenses while you’re still in school.
$1,000
$3,000
Enrolled in a US school, be a US resident or have an applicable visa; 2.0+ GPA or 3.0+ for graduate students, live in an eligible state.

Boro Auto Loans for Students
Car loans for international and college students with 4.49% (starting at) APR.
$5,000
None
US citizen, permanent resident or F-1, OPT, H-1B, J-1, L, O-1, G, A5 or C8 visa holder, minimum GPA, dealer in eligible state
Stilt Personal Loans
No green card? No problem. You could still qualify for a personal loan.
$1,000
$25,000
Be employed, have a US bank account, live in a state where Stilt operates, hold one of the following visas: F-1 and OPT, H-1B, H4, O-1, L-1, TN, J-1, DACA or be a US citizen.
FreedomPlus Personal Loans
Consolidate debt and more with these low-interest loans. Cosigners welcome.
$7,500
$40,000
Must have a credit score of 620+, debt-to-income ratio of 40% or lower and annual income of at least $30,000.

Compare up to 4 providers

How to find a competitive deal on a student car oan

When comparing student car loans, consider:

  • Interest rate. Get the most competitive interest rate by applying to a number of different loan providers.
  • Fixed or variable rate. With fixed rates, your repayments stay the same for the entire loan term, but fixed loans tend to come with more restrictions on early repayments. Variable rates change throughout the life of the loan, but you usually get early repayment flexibility.
  • Fees. Take a look at the upfront and ongoing fees to get an idea of how much the loan will cost.
  • Repayment flexibility. Are you able to choose how often you make payments? Can you make additional payments without penalty? Can you repay the loan early without penalty? These are things to look out for.
  • Features. Does the loan offer any additional features? Some of these may include a preapproval, online account management, a car-buying service to help you find your car or discounts on other products and services.

7 steps to get a car loan as a student

Finding a car loan is pretty straightforward. Here’s how it works:

  1. Consider getting preapproved. Before deciding which car you want to buy, see how much you can borrow by applying for preapproved loan. This can give you more bargaining power at the dealership or an auction.
  2. Find a car. For private sales, look on car sales sites and the newspaper, or head to a dealership. Find a car that’s within your budget and in good condition.
  3. Compare your loan options. Start comparing your loan options once you’ve found the car you want or have an idea of what you’re looking for. Consider the interest rate, fees and features of the loan to find one that’s right for you.
  4. Check the eligibility criteria. Even if the loan sounds right, you may not meet its eligibility criteria. Lenders usually require you to be older than 18, earn a regular income and be employed. Your car will also have to meet eligibility criteria.
  5. Get your documents in order. Gather all the required documents that include a form of ID, pay stubs and information regarding your employment and finances (income, expenses and debts). Once you choose your car, submit the make, model and year, VIN number, registration number and purchase price.
  6. Submit your application. Depending on the lender, you may receive an instant response. Other lenders may take a few days to review your application and fund your loan.
  7. Buy your car. This can happen in a few ways. The lender may pay the dealer or private seller on your behalf or you’ll get funds to pay the seller directly.

What criteria do car lenders have for used cars?

Loan ProviderMax. age of carMinimum loan amountMaximum loan amount
BoroNone$5,000None
Go to Boro's site
Auto Credit ExpressNoneVaries by lenderVaries by lender
Go to Auto Credit Express's site
car.Loan.comVaries by lenderVaries by lenderVaries by lender
Go to car.Loan.com's site
myAutoloan.com10 years old$7,500$100,000
Go to myAutoloan.com's site
LendingTreeVaries by lenderVaries by lenderVaries by lender
Go to LendingTree, LLC's site
CarsDirectVaries by lenderVaries by lenderVaries by lender
Springboardauto8 years old$7,500$45,000
Bluesky auto finance8 years oldQuotes available after you apply$30,000
RoadLoansNone$5,000$75,000
carfinance.com8 years old$7,500$45,000
 

Car loans for international students

Finding a car loan as an international student can be particularly tough: You likely can’t meet the income, credit or permanent resident requirements for most lenders. Luckily there are a few lenders out there like Boro that specialize in financing for people in your situation.

You might also want to look into your personal loan options as an international student — often these don’t require a US citizen cosigner and can be used to buy a new car. And if you do get a car, make sure you get insurance you can qualify for.

8 helpful tips for applying

If you’re a student you may be working part time, be on a lower income or have a limited credit history. This can make it difficult to get a car loan. Use the guide below to find out how to get approved for a car loan.

Compare car loans for students

Ready to choose the perfect car?

Since this is probably your first car purchase, you may want to stick to an economical car. Here are some tips that can help you narrow down what you need:

Do

  • Shop around
  • Attempt to haggle or bargain
  • Ensure the vehicle you want meets the loan requirements

Don’t

  • Buy the first car you see
  • Accept for the first loan offer you receive
  • Apply for every loan available — narrow down your choices to three

Bottom line

You might have trouble getting a car loan on your own while you’re still in college. But it’s not totally impossible. By working with a lender that accepts students or allows you to apply with a cosigner, you could be on the road with a new set of wheels in no time.

Want to learn more about how car loans work? Check out our comprehensive guide.

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