Auto Loan Calculator

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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 appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.
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Auto loan interest rates

If you’re shopping for an auto loan, you can fill out a single form with LendingTree and receive up to five auto loan offers from top lenders.

Starting APRLoan termsLoan amountsBest for…
Southeast Financial Credit Union logo4.00% to 8.00%12-84 monthsFrom $12,000Low starting rates
Navy Federal Credit Union logo4.54%36-96 monthsUnspecifiedMilitary connections
PenFed Credit Union logo5.19%36-84 months$500-$150,000Car-buying service
LendingArts logo5.44%Up to 60 monthsUnspecifiedAuto refinance rates
Consumers Credit Union logo5.54%*Up to 84 monthsUp to $250,000Used car buyers
Bank of America logo6.19%Up to 72 monthsFrom $7,500Those who prefer a bank
Capital One logo5.99%36-72 monthsFrom $4,000Prime and subprime rates
Carvana logo6.85%36-72 monthsUp to $80,000Online experience
LightStream logo8.99%
* w/autopay and excellent credit
24-84 months*$5,000-$100,000Unsecured car loans

Read more about how we chose the best auto loans.

How does my credit score impact my auto loan interest rate?

Lenders offer auto loan interest rates based on your credit score. The higher your score, the lower the rates you may be offered. On the flip side, the lower your score, the higher your rates are likely to be. This is why it’s important to shop around for car loans and compare offers from various lenders. You can also take steps to improve your credit score before applying for a loan.

How does bad credit affect car loan rates?

If you have bad credit, lenders may offer you higher rates, making your loan more expensive overall — and that’s if you qualify for a car loan at all. But while there are auto loans for bad credit, some lenders allow you to apply for a loan with a cosigner to receive better rates.

How do I choose a loan term?

When choosing a loan term, you’ll need to consider how much you can afford to pay each month.

The longer the length of the loan, the lower your minimum monthly payments will be — though your overall interest cost will be higher. The shorter your term is, the higher your monthly payments will be; however, you’ll save on interest through the life of the loan.

While you can make extra installments to pay off your car loan faster, you’ll want to ask if your lender charges a prepayment penalty. This is a fee some lenders use to recoup the cost of borrowers paying off their loans early.

How to lower your auto loan payments

If you’re struggling to make ends meet, a smaller monthly auto loan payment could give you some breathing room. Some common ways to lower your car payment include refinancing your loan, asking your lender for temporary hardship assistance or selling the car to purchase a less expensive one.

  Is your monthly car payment too high?

If you’re still car shopping, there are three ways you could lower your future monthly payment:

  • You could reduce the amount borrowed in the calculator. This means you would look for a less expensive car or pay more of a down payment.
  • You could increase the loan term. Be careful with this option, as you’ll pay more in interest over the life of the loan with a longer term.
  • You may be able to get a better rate by increasing your credit score or using a cosigner.

  What happens if I pay more on my auto loan each month?

If you can afford to pay more, consider decreasing your loan term. This would increase your monthly payment and save you money in interest.

If you pay more on your existing loan, many lenders won’t automatically apply the additional funds to your principal. Instead, they’ll treat it as an early payment of your next bill. To understand what’ll happen if you make extra payments, contact your lender.

How do auto loans work?

Auto loans are a form of secured debt in which your new vehicle serves as collateral on the loan. While this means you typically receive lower interest rates than you would on unsecured personal loans or credit cards, it also means that your lender has the right to repossess your car if you aren’t able to keep up with the payments.

Auto loans are provided in the form of a lump sum. The funds are used to purchase the car, and then the borrower makes monthly payments to repay that debt. Auto loans come with fixed repayment terms — typically three to six years — and fixed interest rates.

What other taxes and fees do I have to pay for a car loan?

Aside from the price of the car and interest, you’ll also have to budget for tax, registration and dealer fees. While some dealer fees may be avoided — such as GAP insurance, market adjustments and loan protection insurance — certain fees are legally required.

Here’s what to expect for the most common dealer fees:

  • Documentation fees: $75 to $500
  • Destination or freight charges: $1,000 to $1,500
  • Inspection and emission fees: $7 to $30
  • Sales taxes: Varies by state
  • Title taxes: Varies by state

How to get an auto loan

Finding the right auto loan is just as important as finding the right vehicle.

  1. Determine what you can afford: Before you officially apply for a loan, it’s important to evaluate how much of a car loan you can afford. To do this, compare how much money you’re bringing in to how much you’re spending — also known as your debt-to-income ratio.
  2. Check your credit scores and reports: It’s important to know your credit score so you know what kind of auto loan rates to expect. It’s also a good idea to check your credit reports for errors that could bring your credit score down.
  3. Prequalify with multiple lenders: Shopping around with multiple lenders will help you find the lowest interest rate you can qualify for. Prequalifying for a loan can allow you to see the rates, terms and amounts you may qualify for without impacting your credit score.
  4. Close on your loan: Once you find a lender that’s a good match with your borrowing needs, you’ll have to agree to a hard credit pull and verify information like your income. You’ll then sign your loan agreement and start making payments on your new car.

Why an auto loan calculator is important

Our calculator estimates your monthly auto loan payment based on the total cost of your loan and interest rate. An auto loan calculator can help you understand whether the total loan amount you’re considering will result in a monthly payment you can afford. You can also use the calculator at the dealership to make sure that the dealer isn’t trying to inflate your monthly payment and slip in add-ons.

Before visiting the dealership, get prequalified for an auto loan so you know the annual percentage rate (APR) you deserve. You can ask the dealer to beat your prequalified offer, and if they can’t, you can feel confident that you got a good deal.

Go shopping with the auto loan calculator

By calculating the largest cost of car ownership — the loan payment — before you shop, you’ll have a firm budget in mind and will be less likely to become infatuated with that new-car smell and buy a car you can’t afford. But don’t forget to use the car loan calculator when you’re out shopping to double-check that everything adds up, and that you’re getting what you want at a monthly payment you can afford.

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.

Frequently asked questions

The best time to buy a car is typically October through December. During this time of year, car dealers are more likely to offer discounts and special promotions to sell remaining inventory before the end of the year. Since many shoppers buy new cars in this window, there are also a higher number of trade-in vehicles available for purchase.

Whether you should get a new or used car depends mostly on how much you can afford to borrow. While new cars tend to be more expensive than used ones, they typically come with better financing options and require less maintenance. On the other hand, used cars are more affordable, and have less depreciation and higher resale value.

Getting a car loan with bad credit can be challenging but not impossible. Some lenders take into consideration factors other than your credit score — like your income and employment — when choosing whether to offer you a loan. However, you’ll likely pay higher interest rates than car buyers with good credit.

Yes, you can pay off your car loan early, though some lenders may charge you a prepayment penalty. Since lenders make money off the interest you’re paying on your loan, they sometimes charge this fee to recoup their financial losses.

Yes, if you want to pay off your car faster or you need lower monthly payments, you can refinance your car loan. You may have to pay a fee to change the lienholder on your car title, depending on the laws in your state.