The best auto refinance companies make it easy to save money on your auto loan, and you can even get a lower monthly payment in the process. You’ll need to have a strong history of on-time car payments to qualify, and your new rate will depend on your credit score, your income, and other factors.
LendingTree Auto Refinance earned the top spot in our ranking due to their low rates and the fact they make it easy to shop around, but there are other auto refinance companies worth exploring. If you are eager to save money on your auto loan, pay your loan off faster, or secure a lower car payment you can actually afford, read on to learn how to refinance your car loan for the best results.
The Most Important Factors For Auto Refinancing:
- Make sure to compare auto refinance companies based on the interest rates they offer, their selection of repayment plans, and their credit score requirements.
- Consumers will typically qualify for preferential auto refinance rates if they have “good” credit, or a FICO score of 670 or higher. However, the best rates typically go to those with “very good” credit or better, or a FICO score of 740+.
- When you apply to refinance your car, additional factors under consideration include your income and ability to repay, your credit score, and the details of your automobile.
- Some auto refinance companies have rules that dictate which cars they will or will not refinance. Make sure to check for lender automobile criteria before you apply.
The Best Auto Refinance Companies of 2021
LendingTree Auto Refinance Review
LendingTree is a popular loan comparison site that makes it easy to check loan rates for a mortgage, a personal loan, a car loan, and more. Their auto loan refinancing portal is extremely useful since it lets consumers check rates for auto loans among several lenders all in one place.
LendingTree lets users choose a new auto loan with a term that lasts from two to seven, which helps consumers tailor their new loan payment to their needs. Since LendingTree lets you compare rates across multiple lenders, however, they do not have set criteria for loan approval or any specific automobile requirements.
- Compare multiple auto refinance loans in one place
- Flexible repayment terms and options
- APRs as low as 1.99% available
- You’ll be matched to different lenders, which you’ll need to research before you move forward
- Loan terms and amounts available vary by lender
RateGenius is another popular loan comparison site that lets you check auto refinance rates across multiple lenders on a single platform. The company has an average star rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars across their certified reviews, and they have funded more than 400,000 loans since their founding.
You can fill out an auto refinancing loan application in a matter of minutes, and RateGenius works with 150 partner lenders to find the best rates. Refinance loans can last from 36 to 72 months, and interest rates start at just 2.48%.
Note that RateGenius only offers refinance loans for personal use vehicles that are less than 12 years old with under 120,000 miles.
- Compare multiple loan options in one place
- Refinance rates start at 2.48%
- Excellent ratings from past users
- Auto refinance loans are only available if you have at least 24 payments left
- Loan limits are set at $55,000, which is lower than some other lenders
LightStream is a direct lender who is known for their popular auto loans and personal loans. With their auto loan refinancing product, consumers borrow up to $100,000 and repay their auto loan over 36 to 84 months.
Interest rates from LightStream are especially competitive, although this lender is known for having stringent credit score requirements. With that being said, this lender does not require an appraisal of your vehicle, nor do they have any age or mileage restrictions for their auto refinance loans.
- Funding available as soon as the day you apply
- High loan amounts (up to $100,000) available
- Competitive interest rates starting at 2.49%
- No appraisal or restrictions on car age or mileage
- Autopay required for the best rates
- Tight credit requirements
PenFed Credit Union Review
PenFed Credit Union does require membership for their auto refinance loans, but joining is easy and everyone is welcome. Their auto loan refinance rates are also some of the lowest out there, and borrowers are able to refinance vehicles with loan amounts up to $100,000.
You can repay your new auto loan over 36 to 84 months, although older model vehicles (older than 2020) are only offered loans that last up to 72 months. Existing PenFed auto loans are not eligible for refinancing with the credit union.
- Incredibly low rates, starting at 1.79% APR
- Flexible refinance terms
- Loan amounts up to $100,000
- Credit union membership required
- Not available for existing PenFed customers
ReFiJet is another loan comparison site that makes it possible for consumers to compare multiple auto refinance loan offers with a single inquiry. This comparison site makes it possible to refinance auto loans in amounts up to $150,000, and borrowers can choose refinance loans that last from 36 to 72 months.
Unfortunately, RefiJet makes you fill out a contact form or call them to apply for a new loan, which means you can’t get started with an online application. They also limit their refinance loans to vehicles that are 10 years old or newer.
- Loan amounts up to $150,000 available
- Flexible repayment terms
- Low rates starting at 2.45%
- No option to apply online
- Only available for vehicles 10 years old or newer
Finally, don’t forget to check auto refinancing rates with LendingClub . This lending platform makes it possible to refinance auto loans in amounts from $5,000 to $55,000, and borrowers can choose a new repayment plan that lasts from 36 to 72 months.
Still, borrowers should note that some restrictions apply. For example, your vehicle must be 10 years old or newer with less than 120,000 miles to refinance. Auto refinance loans are also available through LendingClub in just 35 states,
- Variety of credit ratings considered
- Get an offer in minutes
- Flexible repayment terms
- Higher starting rates than other lenders
- Vehicles must be 10 years old or newer
- Vehicles must have fewer than 120,000 miles
- Not available in all states
Other Companies We Considered
A few other lenders almost made our ranking of best auto refinance companies, but not quite. Here are a few runner-up lenders you may want to consider.
MyAutoLoan is another loan comparison site that lets consumers compare rates without having to shop on multiple websites. They offer refinance loans that last from 24 to 72 months, although other requirements and loan terms vary by lender.
- Flexible repayment terms from 24 to 72 months
- Bad credit auto loans available
- Rates as low as 1.89% for qualified borrowers
- No payment for 90 days for qualified borrowers
- Auto age and mileage requirements vary by lender
Consumers Credit Union
Consumers Credit Union requires membership to qualify for their financial products, although joining is relatively easy if you’re willing to pay a $5 membership fee. This credit union offers new auto loans and auto loan refinancing with competitive rates and flexible repayment options.
- Competitive rates for auto loans and auto loan refinancing
- Flexible repayment terms up to 72 months
- Credit Union membership ($5 fee) required
- Autopay required for the best rates
- Higher rates for 2018 models and older
How We Found the Best Auto Refinance Loans
There are hundreds of companies that offer auto refinance loans, but the best refinancing firms have several factors in common. Here are the attributes we looked for when selecting lenders for our best auto refinance lender rankings.
The main driver of auto loan refinancing is securing a lower auto interest rate. With that in mind, we looked for lenders and loan comparison sites that offer the best and most competitive interest rates on the market today.
Flexible Repayment Terms
We also looked for lenders that offer a broad range of repayment options, and preferably options that last from 24 to 84 months. The more repayment terms offered, the more flexibility borrowers have to choose a loan term and monthly payment that fits with their budget and goals.
Some of the lenders in our ranking set minimum standards for their auto refinance loans, such as only refinancing vehicles with a certain age or mileage. While we chose lenders with restrictions for our ranking, we only selected companies that refinance cars up to 10 years old with up to 120,000 miles.
We also looked for auto lenders that offer refinance loans on a national basis, or at least with broad reach in at least 30 states.
When to Refinance Your Auto Loan
You may be wondering when it makes sense to refinance your auto loan, or if you may be better off sticking with the loan you have. While individual circumstances will dictate the benefits of refinancing your car loan, it could make sense to refinance in any of the following situations.
- Your credit score has improved dramatically. If your credit score has improved since you bought your car, it’s possible you could refinance at a much lower rate than you originally qualified for. This could mean refinancing to secure a lower monthly payment, substantial interest savings, or both.
- You need a lower car payment. If you’re struggling to keep up with the payments on your car loan, refinancing could help you lower your monthly payment. Just keep in mind that extending the length of your auto loan could mean paying more interest over time.
- Interest rates have dropped since you bought your vehicle. If interest rates have dropped since you took out a car loan, refinancing at today’s low rates could help you save.
- Your auto dealer loan rate is higher than it should be. Maybe you just purchased a new car from a dealer only to find you were charged a higher rate than advertised elsewhere. In that case, refinancing into a new loan could help you save money over the life of your loan.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can I refinance my car if I have bad credit?
Some lenders offer auto refinance loans for bad credit, but not all. Make sure to check lender credit requirements and look for auto loan refinance companies that let you get prequalified without a hard inquiry on your credit report.
What happens if I extend my car loan’s term?
Extending your car’s loan term can mean securing a lower monthly payment. However, repaying your car loan over a longer timeline can also mean you will pay more interest over the life of your loan.
Does refinancing my car hurt my credit?
Applying for a new auto loan will result in a hard inquiry on your credit report, yet this inquiry can only do minimal short-term damage. You can continue improving your credit score by making on-time payments on your car loan and paying all your debts off over time.
How can I save money on my car loan?
Refinancing your existing car loan can help you save money provided the new loan has a lower total repayment amount (including principal and interest). You can also save money on your car loan by making more than the minimum payment each month, and this is true whether you refinance your car loan or you decide to stick with the loan you have.
Do you lose money when you refinance your car?
Most people refinance their car loan in order to save money on interest. However, you can potentially pay more in interest over time if you choose a new car loan with a longer repayment timeline.