If you’re unhappy with your current loan’s interest rate or monthly payment, then refinancing your auto loan might be a good option.
It could be a smart move if interest rates have dropped, your credit has improved, or you didn’t explore all your loan options the first time around.
Here are our top picks for the best auto refinance companies, along with some tips on how to get the best loan possible.
9 Best Auto Refinance Companies
- Minimum credit score: 500
- Loan term: Up to 72 months
- A+ BBB rating
If you have poor credit, Auto Credit Express is an option worth considering for auto refinance loans.
They’re a large network with over 1,000 dealer partners specializing in helping those with bad credit secure or refinance their existing auto loan. However, they also have great options for good to excellent credit borrowers.
To qualify for refinancing, you must be current on your monthly payments and have equity in your vehicle.
Also, keep in mind that auto lenders will have their own set of criteria. That usually entails a maximum vehicle age limit of 10 years, a mileage limit of 100,000 or less, and a minimum loan amount of $5,000. The minimum credit score is 580.
Auto Credit Express is accredited by the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating. If you’re interested in refinancing your vehicle, complete the online application. The application process only takes three minutes. You’ll get a rapid response to know if you’ve been matched with potential lenders.
- Minimum credit score: 500
- Loan amount: $12,000-$100,000
- Quick application
If you have average credit, an auto refinance loan with rateGenius will likely result in lower monthly payments. In fact, the average customer savings is $996.
Operating in all 50 states, it has partnered with over 150 lenders nationwide and has an average customer satisfaction of 4.9 out of 5.
To qualify, your auto loan must be more than $10,000 and less than $100,000. Your car cannot be older than ten years, nor can it have more than 150,000 miles on it. Additionally, you must earn at least $2,000 or more each month, and the minimum credit score is 525.
If you change your mind at any point during the application process, you’re never under any obligation to commit.
Unlike most auto loan refinance companies that just refinance auto loans, you can refinance just about any vehicle you can think of. They offer refinancing options for trucks, SUVs, RVs, motorcycles, and boats. Use their loan calculator to figure out how much money you can save by refinancing.
- Minimum credit score: 510
- Loan amount: $9,000-$60,000
- Get a personalized rate in minutes
Upstart works with a network of lenders to find you the best offer. The pre-qualification process only requires a soft credit check.
Upstart uses nontraditional criteria for loan approval, such as highest level of education and occupation. This gives people with bad and fair credit a better chance of qualifying.
This auto refinance lender also has a customer service team that is available seven days a week.
- Minimum credit score: 575
- Loan term: 24-84 months
- A+ BBB rating
MyAutoLoan is also an online marketplace that gets you up to four auto loan refinance offers at once.
Auto loan rates are as low as 2.24% for those with excellent credit. However, not having a good credit history won’t necessarily prevent you from qualifying.
It’s easy to apply, and upon approval, you’ll receive an online certificate or check within 24 hours. Simply submit the online application, explore the auto refinance loan offers and select the one that best suits your needs. Once you’ve submitted all the necessary paperwork, the lender will take it from there.
- Minimum credit score: none
- Loan term: 24-84 months
- Loan amount: $2,500-$100,000
AutoPay is also an online marketplace that offers rates as low as 5.49% on auto loan refinancing. Customers have three types of refinancing to choose from:
- Traditional refinancing: designed to lower your interest rate and car payment
- Cashback refinancing: designed to put money back into your pocket
- Lease payoff refinancing: designed to help you pay your lease in full before the lease term expires, so you can keep the vehicle and avoid fees.
Even better, they cater to consumers with all types of credit, so having a bad credit score doesn’t mean you won’t qualify for a more competitive rate. And when you submit a pre-qualification application, AutoPay does a soft credit pull, so your credit score is not impacted.
- Minimum credit score: none
- Loan amount: $5,000-$55,000
- Lower car payment by $86 per month on average
If you want to compare multiple offers for auto refinance loans, consider LendingClub. After filling out a brief form with some personal and vehicle information, you could get offers from several lenders within minutes.
If any of the loan terms and interest rates look favorable, you can fill out a full application and submit any necessary supporting documents. After that, your former auto loan is immediately paid off with your new loan funds, and you can start making payments to your new lender.
To qualify for auto refinancing within LendingClub’s network, your car must be less than ten years old and have less than 120,000 miles on it.
Your current loan must be between $5,000 and $55,000, at least one-month-old, and have at least two years of payments left on it. If you meet these basic requirements, you can fill out the rate request form to see if you could save money by refinancing your existing loan.
- Minimum credit score: 620
- Loan term: Up to 84 months
- Loan amount: $7,500-No max.
Consumers Credit Union has one of the lowest auto refinance rates in the industry. You can get a loan between $5,000 and $150,000 with loan terms of 12 to 84 months.
To qualify for a loan from Consumers Credit Union, you will first need to become a member. Fortunately, membership is available to everyone and it only costs $5.00.
The minimum credit score is 640 and they do a hard credit check when you apply, which will slightly affect your credit.
- Minimum credit score: none
- Loan term: 24-72
- Loan amount: $500-$100,000
PenFed Credit Union provides members up to six offers with various rates and terms and it won’t cost you a hard credit check. You can prequalify within minutes, and the application process can be done 100% online.
PenFed offers cash-out refinancing, which means that if you have equity in your vehicle, you can receive cash up to 125% of the vehicle’s value when refinancing your existing loan.
One thing to keep in mind is that existing PenFed Credit Union auto loans are not eligible for refinance.
- Minimum credit score: none
- Loan term: 12-84 months
- Loan amount: $5,000-$100,000
If you prefer to explore multiple lenders by only completing one application, LendingTree is a smart option.
It’s an online marketplace that allows you to select your desired loan terms (up to 84 months) and view offers without impacting your credit.
Before submitting your application, you can also use their online tool to view auto refinance rates by location. The form will prompt you to enter your zip code, loan amount, and credit score. It also displays the lowest APRs available for auto loan refinancing by loan term.
How to Refinance a Car Loan
Check Your Credit Score
Before applying with a lender, check your credit score to see where you stand. Don’t overlook this pertinent step since your credit score plays a major role in whether your application is approved.
Grab a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus. Evaluate each section to ensure the information is accurate. If you spot any errors or issues, file disputes promptly to have them rectified.
You want to give yourself the best possible chance of getting your application for refinancing approved, so you can’t afford to have errors on your credit reports dragging your credit scores down.
While 90% of auto refinance lenders use FICO scores to evaluate creditworthiness, their algorithms vary across the board. So, your concern should be with what’s in your credit report since that’s where your credit score is derived from.
You may be able to refinance your car loan through local financial institutions, like a national bank or local credit union. However, in addition to banks and credit unions, there are scores of online lenders and online loan marketplaces that may be worth considering.
This will help you determine which auto refinance companies offer the best auto loan refinance rates and narrow down your options. Most importantly, you may determine that refinancing may not be a good fit if the interest rates are the same or higher.
Most auto refinance companies have minimum and maximum loan amount requirements. Make sure the loan amount that you want to refinance falls within those requirements.
Word of caution: You may be able to secure a lower monthly payment with the same or a slightly lower interest rate. However, it may end up costing you a lot more in interest in the long run. More on this shortly.
Auto loan refinancing lenders will need to verify key information on your loan application to approve you for refinancing. Therefore, it’s a good idea to reach out to the lender beforehand to confirm what they’ll need. This typically includes:
- Copy of driver’s license
- Vehicle identification number
- Copy of most recent pay stub (federal tax returns from the past two-years may be required if you’re self-employed)
- Purchase agreement from the initial purchase (or lease agreement)
- Registration documents
Doing so will help streamline the process, as you’ll be prepared when the time comes to apply.
Worried about your credit scores taking a hit if you apply with multiple lenders? Don’t be. Multiple loan applications will only be counted as a single inquiry if submitted within a 30-day window. Your credit score will take a small hit, but it beats multiple inquiries at once.
Conduct a Cost-Benefit Analysis
Now that you have the auto refinance loan approvals in hand, the next step is to analyze the figures to determine if the benefits of refinancing outweigh the costs. You can do so by entering the numbers into an auto loan refinance calculator.
Also, check to see if your current lender charges a prepayment penalty for paying your car loan off early and remember to factor that in.
Here are a couple of scenarios to illustrate:
Let’s say your monthly auto loan payments are $684, and the remaining loan balance is $30,000. This amount is set to be paid off in four years.
If your current interest rate is 8.5%, and you qualify for a lower rate of 4.5% with a four-year loan term, you will lower your monthly payment by $57 each month. Plus, you will save $2,683 over the life of the loan. In this case, it makes sense to refinance.
Let’s say your monthly car payment is $375, and you have $10,000 left on the original loan, which you will pay over the next three years. If your current loan rate is 6% and the lender agrees to lower the rate by 5%, but with a new loan term of six years, your monthly payment will drop to $242.
However, you will pay $3,893 more in interest due to the extended loan terms. In this case, it wouldn’t be wise to refinance your auto loan unless you were desperate for a lower monthly payment.
Make sure to check with your lender to see if your current loan has prepayment penalties. If it does, depending on how much the prepayment penalty is, it might not be worth refinancing your auto loan.
Review the Final Loan Documents
Before signing on the dotted line, go over the refinance loan documents in their entirety. If there’s any verbiage or terms that seem strange or unfamiliar, seek clarity to avoid confusion later on down the line.
Once you approve and sign, the auto loan refinance lender will send detailed instructions to wrap up the process. Then, moving forward, you will deal with the new lender to make payments and address any questions or issues with your auto loan.
Who are the best auto loan refinance lenders?
Finding the best auto refinance lender depends on your situation and what their current interest rates are. Auto loan refinancing lenders change interest rates quite frequently, so the bank or credit union offering the best interest rates right now may not have the best rates tomorrow.
When choosing an auto refinance company, it’s important to compare interest rates. If you find several lenders with similar rates, look into what else they have to offer.
Is refinancing a car worth it?
Many people wonder if auto refinancing is even worth it. It certainly can be, if you do it right. With the right lender, it can be a quick and easy process. You can pay less interest over time, and lower your monthly car payments.
When should I refinance my car loan?
There are several situations in which you may consider refinancing your current auto loan. Here’s a rundown of the most common reasons to see if an auto loan refinancing could be a smart choice for you.
- When interest rates are lower than when you took out your car loan.
- You’ve improved your credit and could qualify you for a better rate.
- You want to refinance a car lease into a purchase loan.
- You want to lower your monthly payments by extending the loan term. It could result in more money paid in interest but can help keep you current on the auto loan.
When should I not refinance my car loan?
If the interest rate you qualify for today is higher than your current loan rate, it’s probably not the best time to refinance.
Does refinancing a car hurt your credit?
Refinancing your auto loan could temporarily lower your credit score by a few points, but it’s unlikely to hurt your credit history in the long run. If you can save money and lower your payment, it’s probably worth the few points that your credit score will temporarily drop.
If you make your payments on time every month, you should see an increase in your credit score.
How soon can you refinance an auto loan?
You can refinance your auto loan as soon as you find a lender that is willing to give you a new auto loan. Some lenders won’t refinance an auto loan until it has been open for at least six months or more. Other lenders have no set waiting period, so it all depends on the lender.
How many times can you refinance a car?
There is no legal limit on the number of times you can refinance a car loan. As long as you can find a lender who will refinance your car loan, you can do it as many times as you want.
What happens when you refinance a car loan?
Refinancing an auto loan is simply paying off your current auto loan with a new one. The new lender will pay off your original loan, and then you will begin making your payments to them.
Can you refinance a car loan with bad credit?
Auto refinancing is possible with bad credit. However, your interest rate will most likely be high, and the whole purpose of refinancing for most people, is to lower their current interest rate.
What If Your Application For Refinancing Is Denied?
Take a breather because it’s not the end of the world. In fact, it’s the perfect opportunity to return to the drawing board and figure out what’s dragging your credit score down.
The lender should be able to provide you with insight on why your application was denied, and this will serve as a starting point to make improvements and try again. But if you don’t know where to start, check out our ultimate guide on how to repair your credit.
Can you get money back when you refinance an auto loan?
If you have equity in your car, a cash-out refinance is definitely possible with the right lender.
Can you refinance your auto loan with your existing lender?
If your current lender offers auto loan refinancing, then it’s possible for them to refinance your current auto loan. In fact, it may even be easier to work with them than it would be a new lender.
What is required to refinance a car loan?
Each auto lender has different requirements when it comes to refinancing an auto loan. You will typically need:
- proof of employment and income
- proof of residence
- vehicle information
- proof of insurance
You will also need to be current with your payments and not upside down your loan. Some auto refinance companies also require that your car is not over a certain age.
Can I refinance if I owe more than my car is worth?
It will be more difficult to find a lender if you are upside-down on your auto loan. However, it’s probably in your best interest to find someone who will and refinance it as soon as possible so that you can turn that situation around.
Auto loan refinancing can be a breeze if you’re prepared for the process. Plus, it can also help you save money and beef up your wallet.