Best Auto Loan Rates for 2019

Advertiser Disclosure

Buying a car, whether new or pre-owned, is one of the most important financial transactions you’ll make in your life. While it would be nice if you could walk into a dealership, toss a duffle bag of cash on the table and walk out with the keys to a brand new car, the process is rarely that easy or glamorous. For many, financing a car purchase requires a little help from a lending institution, and if you haven’t done your research that “help” can end up hurting your pockets. To avoid having you overpay for your next set of wheels — up-front or in interest — we’ve put together a top picks list of providers to help you find the best place to get a car loan. Though they each bring something different to the table, there’s sure to be one that’s right for you.

Auto Lender Best For...
AutoPay Drivers looking for low-rate loans.
Capital One Drivers who know exactly what kind of car they want.
U.S. Bank Buyers wanting to spend little-to-no cash upfront.
Lighstream Drivers looking for quick or same-day financing.
Bank of America Buyers looking for a streamlined loan process.
LendingClub Quick and easy refinancing.
ClearLane Drivers who want to buy out the lease on their car.
OneMain Buyers with poor credit or those in need of small loans.

Check Your Personal Loan Rates

Answer a few questions to see which personal loans you pre-qualify for. The process is quick and easy, and it will not impact your credit score.

AutoPay

Though AutoPay offers a number of different financing options, AutoPay is perhaps best known for car loan refinancing. The refinancing options that it offers include traditional refinancing, which allows you to extend your loan term or lower your interest rate to reduce monthly payments; Lease payoff refinancing, which gives users the option of buying a leased car at the end of its term; or cashback refinancing, which allows users to use built-up equity to pay for larger expenses. Apart from refinancing options, AutoPay offers loans of up to $100,000 and some of the best auto loan rates, ranging anywhere from 1.99 to 10%, depending on your credit score.

Capital One

Capital One might be better-known for its credit card offerings, but it also has some of the best auto loans around. Users seeking a loan from Capital One benefit from a number of handy tools, including its Auto Navigator function, which allows buyers to filter their searches by a car’s specific make and model as well as dealerships near them. While this is useful, customers should be wary of the fact that in order to approve a used car loan, Capital One requires that the car in question be at least a 2006 model, with half of the states that Capital One services requiring the model to be from 2008 or later. If this is no problem for you, you can enjoy loans of up $40,000 and APR rates as low as 3.24%, depending on your credit score.

U.S. Bank

With current online and bank branch rates as low as 4.59% APR, U.S. Bank offers an attractive financing option for drivers seeking the best auto loans. Most notable among U.S. Bank’s auto loan offerings is its financial flexibility. The bank requires no money up-front from users in order to borrow and even offers as much as 120% in financing to help buyers cover additional expenses like title registration. To top it all off, if you are an existing U.S. Bank customer, you can qualify for a loyalty discount by signing up with autopay. The only word of caution we would offer in securing a loan through U.S. Bank is that it tends to be very particular about the types of vehicles whose loans it’s willing to finance. Vehicles with over 100,000 miles and, in some cases, vehicles even with just 80,000 miles or more often are not eligible for U.S. Bank auto loans. This is also true for salvaged or rebuilt vehicles.

LightStream

A subsidiary of SunTrust Bank, Lighstream offers some of the best auto loan rates to buyers through a number of different loan offerings. LightStream stands out from the competition because of its lightning-fast turnaround time in approving qualified clients for loans. The catch is that the majority of the clients that it approves for same-day funding must have excellent credit in order to be financed. Assuming your credit is up to par, the benefits that LightStream can offer you make it well worth all of those years of financial discipline. Lighstream’s loan offerings range in value from $5,000 to $100,000 with APR rates varying based on the length of your loan. Additionally, if you can prove that one of LightStream’s competitors is offering a better rate, LightStream will improve its initial offering with a rate that is 0.10% lower than the rate being offered by the competitor. With no restrictions on the basis of car year, make or model and enticing options such as auto lease buyout, LightStream’s auto loan options are some of the best you’ll find.

Bank of America

With the power of its name recognition alone, Bank of America instills trust in most buyers. With offices in all 50 states, Bank of America has one of the widest reaches of any of the lenders compared here. Apart from its wide-ranging presence, its loan offerings are also nothing to sneeze at. After completing a one-minute loan application online, customers can find out the amount that they would pay monthly as well as the Bank of America auto loan rates that apply to them, given the length of their loan. Customers with strong credit scores may be eligible for rates as low as 3.19% for new cars, 3.39% for used cars and 3.99% for refinancing. Additionally, existing BofA clients are eligible for a 0.5% discount on the APR rate applied to their loan, while other loanees can take advantage of no prepayment penalties if they decide to pay off their loan early.

LendingClub

Though the service has only been around since 2016, auto refinancing is without question where LendingClub’s bread is buttered. Having helped more than 1.5 million people reach their financial goals, LendingClub offers its clients a straightforward, three-step refinancing process that is increasingly popular. After completing a brief application describing your vehicle and credit history, LendingClub will present to you multiple refinancing offers to choose from. After you pick the option that’s best for you, assuming no further documentation is required, LendingClub will take care of paying off your outstanding loan to your previous lender with no hidden fees. Though this streamlined service is an attractive option for loanees, prospective clients should bear in mind that the car being financed must be less than 10 years old and have under 120,000 miles on it. Additionally, your current loan must have an outstanding balance of between $5,000 and $55,000 and have at least 24 months of repayments remaining. For some, these conditions may be a deal-breaker, in which case a different auto loan refinance lender is likely a better option.

ClearLane

Powered by Ally Bank, ClearLane offers prospective buyers an interesting option for some of the best auto loan offerings. One thing that makes ClearLane different from most other lenders reviewed here is that it is an intermediary. ClearLane does not personally offer buyers loans, but rather serves as a marketplace where users can find the loans that work best for their circumstances. ClearLane’s specific focus is on auto lease buyouts, and it does a pretty impressive job of paying balloon fees — what users pay at the end of their lease if they decide to buy the car — as well as gap insurance, which is paying the difference between what your car is worth and the outstanding loan value on that car if it gets totaled in a wreck. Additional perks provided by ClearLane include no hard pulls on your credit history in order to pre-qualify and availability in 49 of the 50 states (Nevada excluded).

OneMain

With over 100 years of experience servicing clients, OneMain is among the most tenured of the auto loan providers reviewed here. Starting at 18% in a best-case scenario, its APR rates are certainly not for the faint of heart nor shallow of pocket. OneMain also doesn’t shell out a ton of cash to its loanees, providing a maximum loan of just $20,000 to qualified customers. Despite this, OneMain users can take advantage of a number of benefits, including same-day financing, no hard minimums for applicant credit scores, and the option to apply for a secured credit loan with collateral, possibly opening the doors to a larger-than-expected loan. Additionally, loanees that get cold feet after agreeing to an auto loan can cancel their agreement within seven days of putting pen to paper as long as they return all funds and sign a cancellation agreement. With 1,700 offices in 44 states, OneMain is widely available and perhaps the best place to get a car loan for buyers looking for a bit more leniency from their lending institution.

OneMain Disclosure

How Big Should My Down Payment Be?

Though many auto loan providers entice buyers with glittering “zero down” offers, it’s recommended that you try to pay as much up-front as possible. The main reason for this is that it lowers the amount that you have to pay each month. If, for example, you want to buy a $15,000 car and try to take out a three-year loan, paying nothing upfront will leave you with over $400 plus interest to pay each month. Taking that same $15,000 car and paying 20% up-front leaves you with just $12,000 spread out over three years, which ends up being a lot less money each month subject to interest payments. Another added bonus to making a bigger down payment is that most lenders will lower your fixed interest rate, decreasing the cost of your monthly payments and what you end up paying for your car.

Check Your Personal Loan Rates

Answer a few questions to see which personal loans you pre-qualify for. The process is quick and easy, and it will not impact your credit score.

The Bottom Line

With so many different loan options to choose from, it’s important that you take your time and do your homework before seeking out financing for your next car purchase. No matter what your credit score or current financial situation may be, there’s a loan option out there that can help you pay for the ride of your dreams — or at least the ride that will get you where you need to go. If your credit score isn’t where you or your lender would like for it to be, and your car purchase isn’t urgent, consider taking some time to beef up your financial credentials. Even if your credit score is good enough though, remember to look for discounts wherever you can find them and be wary of hidden fees, conditions and add-ons that lenders may try to sneak past you. If you’re willing to put in the work, you’re sure to find the best place to get an auto loan. Hopefully, we’ve helped you get on your way to making educated decisions with securing an auto loan.