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Ally Bank Auto Loan: In-Depth Review

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Ally Bank is one of the largest auto lenders in the U.S. with a wide range of loan and lease options. But you’ll have to apply through a dealership to get an Ally Bank auto loan for a new or used car. To refinance an existing car loan or buy your leased vehicle, however, you could apply directly to the online bank’s subsidiary company, Clearlane.

Ally Bank auto loan details

Ally Bank new and used auto loans

Terms Amounts Minimum credit score
12–84 months $1,000–$300,000 Most borrowers have credit scores of 620 or higher

Ally offers new and used auto loans for cars and light trucks purchased at the dealership. It does not offer loans for RVs, motorcycles or powersport vehicles. APRs start as low as 0% if you qualify for a manufacturer’s 0% APR financing promotion. For example, Ally handles a good chunk of financing for General Motors dealers. GM and Ally share a long history — Ally began as General Motors Acceptance Corp (GMAC) until its transformation into Ally following the financial crisis.

Car loan rates

You won’t know your exact Ally auto loan rate until you apply at the dealer — the company declined to provide an APR range — but you can get an idea of what to expect by checking out the rates below. These are average APRs by credit tier for closed auto loans secured through the LendingTree platform. It may be possible to qualify for an Ally Bank auto loan with poor credit.

APRs for closed auto loans by credit score on LendingTree loan platform Nov 2020
Credit Score Average APR
720 or higher 4.92%
680-719 6.88%
660-679 8.81%
640-659 12.53%
620-639 11.54%
580-619 16.43%
560-579 19.77%
Less than 560 20.79%
All borrowers 7.53%

Source: customer data

Ally Clearlane auto refinance loans

Starting APR* Terms Amounts Min. credit score
3.49% 36–75 months $10,000–$80,000 580

*APR stands for annual percentage rate. Advertised APR based on actual rates received by consumers on loans closed over the past 90 days and assumes excellent borrower credit. Approximately 20% of borrowers have excellent credit. Subject to credit approval. Your rate could be higher based on your credit history, approved loan amount, term, state of residence and other conditions.

You can’t apply directly to Ally Bank for a car loan, but you could apply directly to its subsidiary, Clearlane, for auto refinance or lease buyout loans. Clearlane only offers these two types of loans, so you cannot apply here for a new or used car loan. Vehicles up to 10 years old could be refinanced, which is standard for many refinance loans. However, Clearlane’s maximum loan-to-value (LTV) ratio of 155% is much more generous than other lenders.

Upside-down car loans

And though it can be helpful to borrow more than the car is worth — you may be able to roll negative equity from your previous loan into your new one — it’s important to enter into these agreements carefully. Being underwater on your car loan could mean out-of-pocket expenses for you in situations where your car is totaled in an accident or you simply want to sell it.

Ally auto leasing

Ally also works with dealerships to provide auto leases. Like an Ally Bank auto loan, Ally leasing details will be provided by the dealership. But here’s what we do know about its two programs.

Ally SmartLease

This is Ally’s primary leasing option, which you can use to lease new cars. It will automatically come with Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP). You’ll have the choice between a single-pay lease, where you’ll make one large payment upfront, or traditional monthly payments. The advantage of leasing is that you typically make smaller monthly payments than you would buying. The drawback, of course, is that when the lease ends, you’ll either have to turn in the vehicle or buy it.

Ally Balloon Advantage

This program blends the advantages of leasing with the advantages of buying. Like a lease, a balloon auto loan typically has low monthly payments, but in this case, you’ll own the vehicle as long as you make the final large payment, known as the “balloon” payment.

The fine print

If you’re interested in using Ally Balloon Advantage for a new car, you’re restricted to GM, Chrysler and Mitsubishi vehicles. It’s available on a greater selection of used cars (no Saab or Suzuki vehicles allowed), but the vehicle must be four years old or newer. Borrowers in Maryland, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Pennsylvania are ineligible for this program.

Pros and cons of an Ally Bank auto loan

The Federal Trade Commission recommends consumers shop for their best loan. Look at the pros and cons of Ally car loans and get loan offers from lenders of your choice for comparison. You could fill out a single form at LendingTree and get up to five loan offers from lenders, depending on your creditworthiness. This way, you’ll already have options when you get to the dealership and can take the loan with the lowest APR or the one that best fits your budget.

Pros of an Ally auto loan

 Availability: Ally is one of the largest financial institutions in the country and works with all types of credit profiles.

 Support options: Ally has customer support available by chat, email or phone.

 Mobile app. The Ally Auto app allows you to make auto loan payments on the go but has mixed user reviews from App Store and Google Play users.

 Accessibility: If you need a wheelchair lift or other mobility aids for your new vehicle, Ally allows borrowers to build those costs into many of its loan or lease programs.

Cons of an Ally auto loan

 Indirect new and used loans. You must go through a dealership to apply for a new or used Ally Bank auto loan.

 No facetime. Ally Bank does offer live customer support, but as an online bank, it does not offer in-person customer service.

 Limits on refinance, lease buyout loans: It is possible to apply directly for an auto refinance loan or a loan to buy your leased vehicle, but not for borrowers in the District of Columbia, Nevada and Vermont.

How to apply for Ally Bank auto financing

Unlike other auto loan lenders, you cannot apply directly to Ally for a new or used auto loan — you’ll need the dealer for that. But there are several steps you can take to prepare for the trip to the dealership. First, get an auto loan preapproval. Once you have a car loan offer you like from a lender of your choice, you can then:

  1. Find a dealership using Ally’s dealer locator tool.
  2. Gather any documents you may need — here’s a list.
  3. Take a test drive and fill out the credit application at the dealership. Dealers pick and choose where to submit your car loan application. Tell them you want to see the offer from Ally Bank. Compare it with your preapproval.

How to apply for Clearlane auto loans

No trip to the dealer is required to see possible rates for a refinance or lease buyout loan from Clearlane, Ally’s direct lending arm. But as we’ve mentioned, those are the only two loan types Clearlane offers. You can apply online for either one, but remember, it’s important to compare offers for these kinds of auto loans, too.

Ally Bank auto loans vs. alternatives

There are other popular auto lenders that could give Ally a run for your business, including our list of some of the best credit unions for auto loans. Here are two other potential car loan providers that are also national financial institutions.

Wells Fargo auto loan

  • APRs as low as 1.99%
  • Terms up to 75 months

Capital One auto loan

  • APRs as low as 4.19%
  • Terms from 36 to 72 months
  • Loan amounts starting at $4,000

How to make an Ally Bank auto loan payment

After comparing, if you decide to go with the Ally Bank auto loan, there are several ways you could make a payment.

  • Online automatic payment. Enroll for automatic withdrawals.
  • One-time online payment. Make a one-time payment through CheckFreePay.
  • Mobile payment. Use the app, Ally Auto, to make payments on your smartphone.
  • Phone. Call 1-888-631-8930 to pay over the phone. Note that a convenience fee will apply.
  • In-person. Use a third party, such as Western Union. Know that third parties charge service fees.
  • Mail. Send payments to:
    Payment Processing Center
    P.O. Box 9001951
    Louisville, KY 40290-1951

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