Buying a new car is a thrilling experience, one that often comes as the result of hard work and determination.
Car shopping and test drives are fun, but there’s nothing quite like holding the keys to your new vehicle and preparing to drive off the lot.
But before you get behind the wheel of your new ride, you have to be able to finance it.
That’s where auto loan companies come in. A quick search will show you dozens of providers, but not all of them are worth your time.
In this guide, we’ll break down our top ten auto loan companies to help you pick the best one.
Top 10 Best Auto Loan Companies of 2020
While you may be tempted to roll with the first auto loan that comes your way, that’s not the smartest financial move.
When you apply for an auto loan, you should primarily be looking for two things: low interest rates and affordable payments.
The best lenders will offer you both of those, plus some cool features that you might enjoy. Without further ado, here are our top picks.
1. Auto Approve
If your goal is to lower the premiums and interest rate on your auto insurance, Auto Approve is your go-to lender.
Even if you already have an auto loan with another company, Auto Approve can help you refinance your auto loan for a better deal.
All you have to do is submit a quick online application. In minutes, you’ll be matched with the best options from leading industry partners. In addition to saving money, when you refinance with Auto Approve, you don’t have to make your first payment for 45 days.
To qualify for refinancing with Auto Approve, your car must be ten years old or newer and have fewer than 150,000 miles. You also need a minimum monthly income of $1500, and the current loan can be no less than $7500.
While Auto Approve was just founded in 2016, the company is BBB-accredited and highly reviewed for customer satisfaction.
If you’re wondering whether or not you can afford a new car to begin with, LendingTree should be your first stop.
LendingTree is one of the best marketplaces for loan shopping, where you can access quotes from top lenders in a few minutes’ time.
After you answer a few questions about the type of loan, down payment, and vehicle you want, and fill in some details on your financial status, LendingTree provides you with your best options.
Unlike Auto Approve, LendingTree provides offers for buying both new and used cars, down payments, and refinancing.
They also have handy free tools like a payment calculator and give you access to check your credit score.
Whatever goals you have for your auto loan, LendingTree is a great place to start your search.
As its name suggests, RefiJet gets your dreams of refinancing your vehicle off the ground in no time.
Like Auto Approve and LendingTree, RefiJet pairs you with offers from top lenders, with no negative effect on your credit score.
You can find refinance loans on RefiJet for up to $150,000, with APR as low as 2.99%.
RefiJet is made for applicants with a minimum credit score of 580 and a monthly income of $2,000.
If you meet those criteria, your vehicle is a 2008 model or newer, and it’s insured and registered in your state, your approval odds are strong. Your car can also have up to 200,000 miles on it, significantly higher than the limits with other lending platforms.
RefiJet will also process the complicated paperwork of a lease buyout loan for you.
4. Auto Credit Express
The next auto loan marketplace to turn to in your search for the right loan is Auto Credit Express.
Auto Credit Express offers new and used car loans and refinancing, partnering with 1200 lenders across the country.
With that many companies, your likelihood of finding a loan that works for you is high. Auto Credit Express not only pairs you with lenders but also dealers in its network.
The company doesn’t list a minimum credit score requirement.
In fact, some of its partners offer auto loans to individuals with bankruptcy or repossession in their credit history.
To qualify for an auto loan, you simply need to be 18 or older with a monthly income of $1500 or higher.
If you have a low score or short history, this platform is worth a few minutes of your time. You may be surprised at what you qualify for.
Another auto loan marketplace, myAutoloan, matches you with new and used car dealership loans, private party purchase loans, and lease buyouts and refinancing.
Your myAutoloan application gets submitted to up to 20 lenders (or however many you meet basic eligibility requirements for), producing as many as 4 offers.
myAutoloan does come with some vehicle requirements. Your car cannot be more than 10 years old, and depending on the type of loan, the mileage cannot exceed 120,000 to 125,000 miles.
So far, everything about myAutoloan is in line with its competitors, but there is one key difference to be aware of.
myAutoloan does a hard credit check when you submit your application, which will lower your credit score by a few points.
With that in mind, only use myAutoloan when you’re ready to buy a car, rather than when you’re just toying with the idea.
If you do head to myAutoloan, be sure to take advantage of their wealth of resources, including car loan calculators, tips on boosting your credit score, and educational content on car insurance and loans.
RateGenius is a solid choice if you’re in the market for a refinance loan or a lease buyout loan.
The lending platform generates offers for loans between $10,000 and $90,000.
Like myAutoloan, RateGenius does a hard credit check when you apply, so your score will be affected.
To qualify, you need a minimum credit score of 550 and a monthly income of at least $2,000. Qualifying vehicles must be 7 years older or less, with a maximum of 100,000 miles.
If a partnering lender denies your application, RateGenius will try with two more lenders.
Note that when you apply for multiple sources of credit in a short span of time, credit reporting agencies count your inquiries as one, lessening the blow to your score.
If you’re serious about refinancing or doing a lease buyout and are ready to move on an offer, RateGenius is a great pick.
If you’re looking for a comparable service that only warrants a soft credit check, you may want to work with AUTOPAY.
The auto loan broker’s sweet spot is refinancing loans, but they also match borrowers with a number of purchase loans and lease buyouts.
As far as vehicle requirements are concerned, your car needs to be 11 years old or newer, with 125,000 miles or less.
With excellent credit (think 720 or higher), you could get APR as low as 1.99%, but even if your credit score is average, you’re likely to find a lender with AUTOPAY.
The company’s minimum credit score requirement is a 600, with a minimum income of $2,000 a month.
If you’ve worked to boost your credit since the time you took out your original loan, AUTOPAY can likely find you a refinanced loan with better interest rates.
The companies above are great options for applicants with fair to high credit scores.
But what if you have a poor credit score, an unfortunate bout with bankruptcy, or no credit history at all to stand on? Along with Auto Credit Express, you may want to look into Car.Loan.com.
Car.Loan.com works hard to match low and no-credit borrowers with lenders who have less stringent eligibility requirements.
Unlike some of its more well-known competitors, Car.Loan.com does not impose set vehicle, income, and credit requirements, instead leaving it up to the individual lenders’ criterion.
The site offers little information about the types of loans it offers or the process it uses, and online customer reviews are slim to none, but if you’re suffering under the burden of bad credit, it could be worth using for a quick search.
Just be mindful that low credit tends to come with higher interest rates and short loan terms, even with a great lender.
As the lending branch of SunTrust Bank, LightStream comes with loads of experience and reputability in the banking world.
Lightstream offers new and used car loans for dealerships and private party purchases, refinancing loans, and lease buyouts.
Unlike the marketplace platforms featured in the list, LightStream is a direct lender.
LightStream is a stellar choice for borrowers with excellent credit, offering rates as low as 3.99% on 24-36 month loans. You can even get a discount to your rate by enrolling in autopay.
LightStream auto loans range between $5,000 and $100,000. Their only minimum requirement is a credit score of 660 or higher.
There are no minimum requirements for the make, model, and mileage of the vehicle, giving LightStream an advantage over many of its competitors.
If you have a high credit score and are looking for a loan with low rates and major flexibility, LightStream is a dependable and highly rewarding choice.
MaxCarLoan is yet another auto loan marketplace, one that offers a simplified, streamlined application for quick pre-approval on new and used auto loans.
That pre-approval comes with a soft credit check, leaving your score, however high or low it is, intact.
On the subject of credit scores, MaxCarLoan lists no minimum score requirements, making them another service to consult if your credit score is on the lower end of the spectrum.
MaxCarLoan doesn’t detail any income or vehicle requirements either. The company touts same-day pre-approval, and you could get a loan from one of their partners in a week or less.
If you get approved for any loans, the lenders will contact you directly, filling you in on the rates and terms you are eligible for.
Which Auto Loan Company Is Best For You?
As you set out to purchase or refinance your car, make sure you’re getting the best auto loan available to you.
Finding the right auto loan for you will depend on your financial status, vehicle, and the type of auto loan you’re looking for.
Fortunately, applying and getting approved for an auto loan is easier than ever, thanks to streamlined online applications.
With the auto loan comparison tools and lenders above, you can see all of your options and quickly make an informed decision.
Check out your credit score and see what types of loans you’re eligible for. Before you know it, you could be riding off the lot in style.