Best Auto Loan Rates in February 2023

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?
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How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Written by Jenn Jones | Edited by Katie Lowery | Updated January 31, 2023

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Starting APRTermsLoan amountsBest for…
Southeast Financial Credit Union logo1.00% to 6.00%12-84 monthsFrom $12,000Low starting rates
Navy Federal Credit Union logo4.54%36-96 monthsUnspecifiedMilitary connections
PenFed Credit Union logo4.59%*36-84 months$500-$100,000Car-buying service
Consumers Credit Union logo5.24%*Up to 84 monthsUp to $150,000Used car buyers
Bank of America logo5.49%Up to 72 monthsFrom $7,500Those who prefer a bank
LendingArts logo5.44%Up to 60 monthsUnspecifiedAuto refinance rates
Capital One logo5.79%36-72 monthsFrom $4,000Prime and subprime rates
LightStream logo5.99%
* w/autopay and excellent credit
24-84 months*$5,000-$100,000Unsecured car loans
Carvana logo6.85%36-72 monthsUp to $85,000Online experience

See Personalized Rates

Read more about how we chose the best auto loans.

*May include rate discount from using autopay or a car-buying service

Estimate your monthly car payment

Use our auto loan calculator to estimate your monthly car payment for both new and used cars.

How do auto loans work?

Getting a car can feel a lot like going to a circus — for the main act, a car appears in your driveway and money disappears from your wallet.

With an auto loan, you agree to repay a lender over a set term, typically three to six years, in exchange for them paying a dealership (or a private seller) so that you can get a car. You generally pay more than what you borrowed, which equates to profit for the lender. How much more you pay largely depends on your credit score.

How will your credit score affect your car loan?

With a higher credit score, less of your paycheck will do a vanishing act. Since the lowest APRs (annual percentage rates) are offered to the borrowers with the highest credit scores, improving your credit score before applying for an auto loan can really be worth the effort.

The difference between the highest and lowest used-car APR in Q2 2022 was nearly 17 percentage points, according to Experian. On a 5-year loan for $25,000, for example, you could save nearly $12,700 over the life of the loan if you applied with a higher credit score.

Car loans for bad credit

If you have no credit history or you’ve made some credit mistakes along the way, it’s still possible to get car loans for bad credit. If you’d like to improve your chances of being approved or possibly secure a lower rate, consider adding a cosigner, making a large down payment or both. No matter your score, it’s important to shop around for your auto loan and compare multiple offers.

Average auto loan rates by credit score
Credit score New car avg. APR Used car avg. APR
781-850 2.96% 3.68%
661-780 4.03% 5.53%
601-660 6.57% 10.33%
501-600 9.75% 16.85%
300-500 12.84% 20.43%

Source: Experian State of the Automotive Finance Market report, Q2 2022

Types of auto loans

There are several types of auto loans, but here is a quick rundown:

  • New auto loan: You’ve got plenty of options. Most lenders offer new car loans, including banks, credit unions, online lenders and the automakers themselves.
  • Used car loan: You’ll find used auto loans at almost all the same places. However, some lenders place limits on the age and mileage of the cars they’re willing to finance. If you want a car that’s over ten years old or has over 120,000 miles, you typically have to get a personal loan instead.
  • Private party car loan: Buying a used car from a person (rather than a business) requires a private party auto loan. This type of car loan can be harder to find, but banks and credit unions still offer them.
  • Auto refinance loan: If you need a lower car payment, can qualify for a lower APR or want cash-out, an auto refinance could provide what you’re looking for.
  • Lease buyout: At the end of a car lease, you have the option to turn in the car or buy it. A lease buyout loan lets you purchase the car and continue to make payments rather than paying a large amount to buy it outright.

Best auto loan lenders in 2023

When you’re financing a car, you want to find the best auto loan rates available to save money — that’s why we’ve done the legwork for you. We crunched the numbers and analyzed thousands of vehicle loan applications, sorting the most frequently chosen lenders by average APR received, according to credit score. We compared those rates with the companies’ current advertised offers and those of competitors to find the 10 companies offering the lowest rates at this time.

Southeast Financial Credit Union:
Best starting auto loan rates

Southeast Financial loan details
APR 1.00% to 6.00%
Min. credit score Unspecified
Loan term 12–84 months
Loan amount A minimum of $12,000 for 72- and 84-month terms

Southeast Financial Credit Union offers the lowest auto loan starting rate that we found from a lender with a national reach. It has open membership and offers the same starting rate for new and used cars: 1.00% for a 12-month term for borrowers with credit scores above 750. SFCU’s starting APR (1.00% to 6.00%) is dependent upon loan term. It also offers financing for motorcycles and powersport vehicles.

WHAT WE LIKE

The credit union only requires a $5 minimum donation to Autism Tennessee to qualify for membership.

WHERE IT MAY FALL SHORT

Southeast Financial is a smaller credit union without many brick-and-mortar locations for in-person transactions. It also doesn’t refinance its own loans.

Navy Federal Credit Union:
Best auto loan rates for those with strong military connections

Navy Federal Credit Union loan details
APR From 4.54%
Min. credit score Unspecified
Loan term 36 to 96 months
Loan amount Unspecified

Navy Federal Credit Union’s advertised auto loan APR could go even lower. Active duty, senior enlisted (E-7 through E-9) receive a 1% APR discount, while all active-duty and retired military members qualify for a 0.25 percentage-point discount.

WHAT WE LIKE

Besides low rates, Navy Federal’s prices for auto loan add-ons, such as GAP insurance, are also low. Read our full Navy Federal Credit Union review.

WHERE IT MAY FALL SHORT

Navy Federal doesn’t publish a minimum credit score requirement or a range of loan amounts. It also has strict eligibility requirements. You must have ties to the U.S. military to join.

PenFed Credit Union:
Best auto loan rates for a car-buying service

PenFed Credit Union loan details
APR 4.44% APR for vehicles purchased through PenFed’s car-buying service.
5.24% APR for cars purchased independently
Min. credit score Not specified
Loan term 36–84 months
Loan amount $500–$100,000

With the rate reduction from using the car-buying service, PenFed’s auto loan rate is pretty attractive. You can use a PenFed auto loan to purchase a vehicle independently, but expect your APR to be higher.

WHAT WE LIKE

Membership requirements for the credit union are lax and you can request to join even if you have no ties to the military. Read our full PenFed Credit Union review.

WHERE IT MAY FALL SHORT

The lowest APR only applies if you use PenFed’s car-buying service to purchase a new vehicle.

Consumers Credit Union:
Best for used car buyers

Consumers Credit Union loan details
APR From 5.24% with autopay
Min. credit score Unspecified
Loan term Up to 84 months
Loan amount Up to $150,000

To become a member of Consumers Credit Union, you only need to make a one-time payment of $5 to the Consumers Cooperative Association. You do not need to live in a specific geographic area or work for a certain employer.

WHAT WE LIKE

Consumers Credit Union has a low starting rate, national reach and open membership. Plus, if you make automatic payments, you can receive a 0.25% rate reduction. Read our full Consumers Credit Union review.

WHERE IT MAY FALL SHORT

Like most credit unions, Consumers doesn’t feature as many customer-support options that you can find at large banks, such as 24/7 phone support.

Bank of America:
Best auto loan rates for those who prefer a bank

Bank of America loan details
APR From 5.49%
Min. credit score Unspecified
Loan term up to 72 months
Loan amount From $7,500 ($8,000 in Minnesota)

Bank of America offers convenience. It does not require borrowers to qualify for membership and it could be your one-stop financial shop. It has competitive auto loan rates for any type of auto loan you’d like: new, used, refinance, lease buyout and private party. And, if you are a Preferred Rewards member, you could qualify for an interest rate discount up to 0.50 percentage points.

WHAT WE LIKE

Bank of America has a variety of auto loans that you don’t always see from a single lender; it has no membership requirements and is the second-largest U.S. bank by assets. Read our full Bank of America review.

WHERE IT MAY FALL SHORT

Bank of America’s minimum loan amount is relatively high at $7,500; you could easily find a used car from a private seller for less.

LendingArts:
Best auto refinance rates

LendingArts loan details
APR From 5.44%
Min. credit score Unspecified
Loan term Up to 60 months
Loan amount Unspecified

LendingArts had one of the lowest average auto loan rates for drivers who refinanced on the LendingTree platform in the first half of 2022. The company does a soft credit pull to show you potential refinance offers from lenders and, once you choose an offer, that lender will do a hard credit pull to produce an official offer for your approval.

WHAT WE LIKE

LendingArts also offers purchase and refinancing loans for RVs and powersport vehicles.

WHERE IT MAY FALL SHORT

If you have a specific refinance lender in mind, such as a local credit union, apply to them directly, as LendingArts doesn’t publicize a list of its lender partners. LendingArts also isn’t very transparent about loan details, including loan amounts offered or credit score required.

Capital One:
Best prime and subprime auto loan rates

Capital One loan details
APR From 5.79%
Min. credit score Unspecified; minimum monthly income required is $1,500
Loan term 36–72 months
Loan amount From $4,000

On the LendingTree marketplace, Capital One emerged as a favorite, offering competitive rates on both ends of the credit spectrum, to both prime and subprime borrowers.

WHAT WE LIKE

Its Auto Navigator feature can give a ballpark estimate of your auto loan without needing a hard credit pull. If you want a more solid idea of your car loan before you go to the dealer, consider getting a car loan preapproval. Read our full Capital One review.

WHERE IT MAY FALL SHORT

Capital One auto financing might not be available at the dealership you want. It only offers car loans for vehicles purchased through its network of over 12,000 dealerships.

LightStream:
Best auto loan rates for unsecured car loans

LightStream loan details
APR From 5.99%* with autopay and excellent credit
Min. credit score Unspecified
Loan term 24–84 months*
Loan amount $5,000–$100,000

*Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 5.99% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $304.17.

The online lender LightStream offers no restrictions based on vehicle age, mileage, make or model, and the starting rate for new and used car loans are the same because these loans are unsecured. While most people shy away from unsecured car loans, thinking the APR will be high, LightStream offered one of the lowest average rates for prime and midprime credit scores on the LendingTree platform in the first half of 2022.

WHAT WE LIKE

LightStream offers competitive rates and few restrictions. Read our full LightStream review.

WHERE IT MAY FALL SHORT

LightStream heavily prefers borrowers with good to excellent credit scores and low debt-to-income (DTI).

Carvana:
Best for those who want an online experience

Carvana loan details
APR From 6.85%
Min. credit score Unspecified
Loan term 36–72 months
Loan amount Up to $85,000

Like a car dealership but completely online, Carvana helps consumers find the auto loans they want to purchase Carvana vehicles.

WHAT WE LIKE

A no-haggle, online experience could take some of the stress out of car buying. Read our full Carvana review. Although Carvana doesn’t specify a minimum credit score requirement, it does work with bad-credit borrowers. You may qualify for Carvana financing as long as you’re 18 years or older (19 or older in Georgia), make at least $4,000 per year and have no active bankruptcies.

WHERE IT MAY FALL SHORT

You cannot use a loan offer you got through Carvana to purchase a vehicle from any other seller.

How we chose our picks for best car loans

We examined closed LendingTree auto loans from H1 2022. We wanted to know: 1) which lenders consumers chose most often, and 2) which ones offered the lowest average APR. We also looked at the advertised starting car loan rates of large, national lenders to compare.

To find the best rates for those with military connections, we looked at rates offered by USAA Bank, Navy Federal Credit Union, Pentagon Federal Credit Union and Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union, and chose the one with the lowest advertised APR for a traditional new car loan not including any other discounts that may be available, such as breaks for using a car-buying service.

*Your loan terms, including APR, may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term length, and your credit profile. Excellent credit is required to qualify for lowest rates. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount. AutoPay discount is only available prior to loan funding. Rates without AutoPay are 0.50% points higher. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 5.99% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $304.17. © 2023 Truist Financial Corporation. Truist, LightStream and the LightStream logo are service marks of Truist Financial Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Lending services provided by Truist Bank.

How to get an auto loan in 3 easy steps

Complete the form

Answer a few simple questions

Compare lenders

Get matched with up to five lenders

Save money

With the loan that’s right for you

Frequently asked questions

Apply to a couple of our best auto lenders or your own bank, credit union or online lender directly — without a middleman — and then ask the dealer to beat your preapproved rate.

Yes, you can negotiate APR. Ask the dealer to beat the auto loan preapproval rate you got directly from a lender. Putting more money down or getting a cosigner could also help reduce the APR on your loan.

It’s best to apply to a lender directly (a bank, credit union or online lender) and the dealer so you have options and can choose the best car loan for your needs.

The average APR for an auto loan in H1 2022 was 9.33%, ranging from less than 4% for those with credit scores over 720, to an average over 15% for borrowers with scores lower than 560. Credit unions tend to offer some of the lowest starting rates.

Here’s a complete guide on how to get a car loan. You generally want to start by checking your credit score, determining your budget and getting preapproved.

When deciding between auto loan offers, look at what the monthly payments mean for your budget and how much you’ll pay for the loan overall. Even if you have a low APR on a long-term auto loan, you could pay more in total interest than you would on a shorter-term loan with a higher APR. Use an auto loan calculator to be sure.

Automakers, credit unions, banks and online lenders could all potentially provide a low rate. You’ll never know what you qualify for until you apply. Applying to multiple lenders within a two-week window will not hurt your credit score any more than applying to one lender. Any drop to your credit score will be slight and temporary.

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