Best Auto Loan Refinance Rates in May 2024

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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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Written by Amanda Push | Edited by Jessica Sain-Baird and Xiomara Martinez-White | Updated May 1, 2024

Southeast Financial Credit Union: Best for short-term refinance loans

4.50%

Not specified

12 to 84 months

Not specified

Pros

  • Offers short-term loans
  • Option to apply for joint loan
  • No mileage or model-year restrictions

Cons

  • Credit criteria not specified
  • Loans require credit union membership
  • Few brick-and-mortar branches

What to know

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If you’re looking to pay off your refinance car loan quickly, Southeast Financial Credit Union (SFCU) offers repayment terms as short as 12 months. On top of that, unlike other lenders, SFCU doesn’t limit car mileage or model year for refinanced cars.

However, as is the case with most credit union auto loans, you’ll need to become a member of this institution first to get a loan. It’s also unclear what credit score consumers will need to qualify for a SFCU auto refinance loan.

How to qualify

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Southeast Financial Credit Union doesn’t provide much information about its borrower requirements. To become a SFCU member, you’ll need to a savings account with a $5 deposit and check at least one of the following boxes:

  • Donate $5 to Autism Tennessee
  • Be a current or retired Southeast Financial Select Employee Group employee
  • Be a relative of a Southeast Financial Credit Union member
  • Live, work, worship, go to school or volunteer in a qualifying Tennessee or Kentucky community, Tishomingo County, Miss. or Corinth, Miss.

Gravity Lending: Best for using a co-borrower

4.99%

$15,000-$150,000

48 to 96 months

660

Pros

  • Allows for co-borrowers on your loan application
  • Offers prequalification
  • Doesn’t charge fees

Cons

  • High minimum loan amounts
  • Doesn’t refinance cars older than 10 years old
  • High minimum repayment terms

What to know

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If you don’t have great credit, it can be difficult to qualify for a loan unless you have a co-borrower or cosigner. Gravity Lending allows borrowers to apply with a second person to improve their chances of approval and potentially get lower rates.

But if you’re looking to refinance a small auto loan, you may need to look elsewhere — Gravity Lending only refinances loans that are at least $10,000. The lender also doesn’t post its credit or vehicle requirements on its website.

How to qualify

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Gravity Lending only refinances vehicles that are 10 years old or newer. During the application process, you’ll also have to provide the following information:

  • Proof of income
  • Proof of residence
  • Proof of insurance
  • Vehicle information

iLending: Best for repayment flexibility

5.20%

From $7,500

24 to 84 months

525

Pros

  • Can skip up to 90 days of payments
  • Offers prequalification
  • Bad-credit consumers may qualify

Cons

  • No loan criteria provided on website
  • Doesn’t post loan details on website
  • Refi loans start at $7,500

What to know

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With an iLending auto refinance loan, you have the option to skip up to 90 days of payments if your budget won’t allow you to make your car payment that month. Applying for a loan won’t impact your credit score — and even if you don’t have the best credit, you may still be able to get a loan through iLending.

Unfortunately, iLending doesn’t provide much information around its eligibility requirements or loan features. This can make it difficult to know if an iLending auto refinance loan is right for you.

How to qualify

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Other than its 525 minimum credit score, iLending doesn’t provide many specifics around its eligibility requirements for auto refinance loans. However, it does state that your vehicle will need to have less than 150,000 miles on it and be no older than 2013.

RefiJet: Best for cash back refinancing

5.29%

$10,000-$150,000

24 to 96 months

580

Pros

  • Offers cash back refinancing
  • Those with bad credit may qualify
  • Allows for co-borrowers

Cons

  • Older cars may not qualify
  • Unclear credit requirements
  • Doesn’t post loan details on website

What to know

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If you take out a RefiJet auto refinance loan, you have the option to cash in on the equity you’ve built up while paying off your vehicle — this is known as cash-out auto refinancing. Those with bad credit may qualify for a loan through RefiJet, especially since this company allows for co-borrowers.

How to qualify

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To qualify for a RefiJet auto refinance loan, you’ll need to meet these requirements:

  • Minimum credit score of 580
  • On-time payments for the last six months
  • Vehicle must be less than 10 years old
  • Car must have fewer than 150,000 miles on it

PenFed Credit Union: Best for debt protection

5.44%

Up to $150,000

36 to 84 months

Not specified

Pros

  • Flexible membership eligibility
  • Offers debt protection services
  • Allows for prequalification

Cons

  • Credit union membership required
  • Doesn’t offer much insight into its loan requirements

What to know

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In the case of death, disability or loss of employment, PenFed Credit Union offers the option of debt protection for a small monthly fee. In these instances, PenFed can cancel your loan balance or monthly payments with no penalties.

Unfortunately, PenFed doesn’t offer much insight as to what it requires if you want to refinance your auto loan. You’ll also need to become a PenFed member before you can receive your loan funds.

How to qualify

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PenFed requires that any vehicle you refinance to have less than 125,000 miles on it. Aside from that, PenFed doesn’t offer much more information on how to get an auto refinance loan. However, to become a PenFed member, you will need to open a savings account with the credit union and make a $5 deposit.

myAutoLoan: Best for fast funding

5.49%

From $5,000

24 to 72 months

600

Pros

  • Offers small loan amounts
  • Funding within 24 hours
  • May receive up to four loan offers
  • Allows for co-applicants

Cons

  • Not available in Alaska or Hawaii
  • Maximum car mileage of 125,000
  • No direct phone number or email address provided on website

What to know

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myAutoLoan isn’t a direct lender, but it can provide consumers with at least four loan offers when they apply. If approved for a refinance auto loan, you may receive your funds within 24 hours. And if you don’t have good credit, myAutoLoan does allow consumers to use a co-applicant.

However, if your car has more than 125,000 miles on it, you won’t qualify for a car refinance loan through myAutoLoan. Consumers’ ability to contact myAutoLoan is also limited to an online request form with no direct phone number or email provided on the website.

How to qualify

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You’ll need to meet this criteria to qualify for an auto refinance loan on myAutoLoan’s network:

  • Minimum $18,000 annual gross income
  • 600 minimum credit score
  • Must live in continental U.S. (unavailable in Alaska and Hawaii)
  • Car cannot have more than 125,000 miles
  • Vehicle must be 10 years old or newer
  • Must have at least $5,000 left on current loan

Auto Approve: Best for special vehicle refinancing

6.24%

$10,000-$150,000

12 to 120 months

650

Pros

  • Offers cosigner loans
  • Provides special vehicle refinancing
  • Offers 24/7 roadside assistance

Cons

  • Doesn’t specify credit requirements
  • May find shorter repayment terms elsewhere
  • Doesn’t provide auto eligibility criteria

What to know

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Auto Approve isn’t a direct lender — instead, it connects consumers with lenders within its network. A unique feature the company offers is that it won’t just refinance cars: It’ll also refinance motorcycles, RVs, boats and ATVs.

Unfortunately, Auto Approve doesn’t provide much information around its credit or vehicle criteria. This could make it difficult for consumers to know whether the company is a good fit for them.

How to qualify

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Auto Approve doesn’t provide much information around its requirements for vehicles or credit. During the application process, however, you will have to provide the following information:

  • Driver’s license
  • Proof of insurance
  • Vehicle registration
  • Proof of income
  • Contract for current auto loan

OpenRoad: Best for bad-credit borrowers

6.49%

$7,500-$100,000

36 to 72 months

460

Pros

  • Those with bad credit scores may qualify
  • Allows for co-borrowers
  • Provides clear eligibility criteria for applicants

Cons

  • Only offers loans up to $100,000
  • May find shorter repayment terms elsewhere
  • Self-employed consumers won’t qualify

What to know

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With a minimum credit score requirement of just 460, OpenRoad Lending provides flexibility for borrowers with less-than-perfect credit. (However, OpenRoad Lending connects consumers to companies on its lending platform, so you’ll still need to meet other criteria to qualify.)

This company also allows consumers to apply with a co-borrower. This can improve your chances of qualifying and help you land lower rates, especially if you have bad credit.

How to qualify

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To qualify for a loan through OpenRoad Lending, you’ll need to meet the following criteria:

  • 460 minimum credit score
  • Gross monthly income of at least $1,500
  • Remaining loan must be between $7,500–$100,000
  • Vehicle must be eight years old or newer
  • Car can’t have more than 140,000 miles on it

Consumers Credit Union: Best for refinancing small auto loans

6.54%

$250-$500,000

Up to 84 months

Not disclosed

Pros

  • Offers small loan amounts
  • Non-U.S. citizens eligible for loans
  • 0.25% autopay discount

Cons

  • Charges a membership fee
  • CCU membership required to receive a loan

What to know

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Consumers Credit Union (CCU) offers a flexible range of loan amounts — from $250 to $500,000 — so even those with small auto loans can refinance if they need to. CCU also allows for non-U.S. citizens to apply for loans, has no minimum credit score and offers a 0.25% autopay discount.

Still, like other credit unions, you’ll need to become a member of CCU in order to receive your loan funds. You’ll also have to pay a nominal one-time fee of $5.

How to qualify

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To become a CCU member, you’ll have to provide a one-time $5 membership fee. You’ll also need to open a Member Share/Savings account and make a $5 deposit.

DCU: Best for refinancing large auto loans

6.74%

Up to $500,000

Up to 84 months

Not specified

Pros

  • Offers large loan amounts
  • Provides multiple rate discounts
  • No payments for 60 days

Cons

  • May charge an administrative fee to refinance DCU auto loan
  • DCU membership is required
  • Few branch locations

What to know

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Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU) offers the largest auto loan refinance option on our list with amounts up to $500,000. The lender also provides multiple rate discounts if you have an energy efficient vehicle, or if you’re a Plus or Relationship member making electronic payments. Further, DCU offers customers the option to skip payments for 60 days.

However, if you’re refinancing a DCU auto loan, you may have to pay an administrative fee. Plus, like all credit unions, DCU requires that you become a member to receive funding.

How to qualify

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DCU doesn’t provide much insight as to its auto loan refinance eligibility criteria, but it does outline how to qualify for membership:

  • Be related to a current DCU member
  • Currently work for a company that’s a DCU partner employer
  • Currently belong to a DCU partner organization
  • Live, work, worship or attend school in eligible areas

How does refinancing a car loan work?

Refinancing an auto loan is moving an original car loan to (in many cases) a new lender with new terms that are better for your financial situation. The process to refinance a car loan will depend on each lender, but here are the steps you’ll generally follow.

  1. Check your credit. Your credit score and credit report will determine important factors like your annual percentage rate (APR) and whether you’ll even qualify to refinance. So if your score isn’t great, you may want to take some time to improve it before applying for an auto refinance loan.
  2. Get preapproved for a refinance loan. A preapproved car loan can show you what lenders, rates, terms and amounts you may be eligible for. Prequalification may also give you some bargaining power as you shop around.
  3. Compare offers. Don’t feel pressured to accept the first refinancing offer you get. Compare lenders and loan features to ensure you get a loan that best fits your financial situation. You can use an auto refinance loan calculator to determine what you can afford.
  4. Close on your loan. Once you come to an agreement with a lender, you’ll need to close on your loan by signing a contract. During this part of the process, your lender will run a hard credit pull on your credit history. This can cause your score to go down by a few points, though it’ll increase again over time as you make on-time payments.

Is refinancing a car loan a good idea?

Whether it’s a good idea to refinance a car loan will depend on factors like your credit score, market rates and how much you have left on your car loan. If your credit score is good and you still have quite a bit left on your current auto loan, consider applying to refinance.

However, if you don’t have good credit, or if market conditions are poor, it may not be a good idea. If you ultimately decide that refinancing your car loan is right for you, be sure to avoid these common car refinancing mistakes.

When should you refinance your car loan?

After you buy a car, borrowers refinance auto loans for a variety of purposes. Before you commit to a lender, make sure to have a goal in mind for you to aim for. Here are a few common reasons consumers refinance their auto loans:

  • Your credit score increased. Improving your credit score can boost your chances of qualifying for better rates when you refinance your car loan. You can do this by making on-time payments for your current auto loan as well as reducing any other debt you have.
  • Market rates are low. If interest rates have dropped since you took out your car loan, you may want to consider refinancing to see if you can land better rates.
  • You’re struggling to make payments. If you’re struggling to keep up with payments on your original loan, consider refinancing for a longer term. This can help to lower your monthly car payments — just keep in mind that you’ll pay more in interest in the long run.
  • You have a high interest rate. If you applied for an auto loan through a car dealership, they may charge you higher rates than if you were to go through a different lender. Refinancing through a different type of lender can help you get lower rates.
  • You want a longer or shorter loan term. If you’re not happy with your current auto loan term, shop around to see if you qualify for longer or shorter repayment terms. Short-term loans come with higher monthly payments but less interest, while long-term car loans offer the opposite features.
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Refinance a car loan with bad credit

Yes, you can refinance a car loan with bad credit, though your options will be far more limited than if you have good credit. You can shop around for lenders with low credit score requirements — some lenders even have credit scores requirements as low as 460. However, keep in mind that you’ll likely receive subprime rates.

If you’re struggling to keep up with payments but aren’t able to refinance your car loan, contact your lender and ask about any support or flexibility they can provide.

How we chose the best auto refinance lenders

We reviewed more than 44 lenders that offer auto refinance loans to determine the overall best 11 lenders. To make our list, lenders must offer competitive annual percentage rates (APRs). From there, we prioritize lenders based on the following factors:

  • Accessibility: We chose lenders with auto loans that are available to more people and require fewer conditions. This may include lower credit requirements, wider geographic availability, faster funding and easier and more transparent prequalification, preapproval and application processes.
  • Rates and terms: We prioritize lenders with more competitive starting fixed rates, fewer fees and greater options for repayment terms, loan amounts and APR discounts.
  • Repayment experience: For starters, we consider each lender’s reputation and business practices. We also favor lenders that report to all major credit bureaus, offer reliable customer service and provide any unique perks to customers, like free wealth coaching.

LendingTree reviews and fact-checks our top lender picks on a monthly basis. Not all lenders we reviewed can be found on LendingTree’s loan marketplace.

Frequently asked questions

Refinancing an auto loan can affect your credit score, since you’ll need to submit to a hard credit pull when you apply for a loan. This can cause your score to drop by a few points temporarily. However, as you repay your car loan, your score will gradually increase again.

It may be a good idea to refinance your car if you have good credit, market rates are low or you’re having a hard time keeping up with your current loan. It may be a bad idea, however, if you don’t have good credit or don’t have much left on your loan. Keep in mind that if you refinance, some lenders may try to sell you add-ons such as auto GAP insurance or an extended car warranty.

How soon you can refinance a car loan will depend on how long it takes for the car title to transfer to you. Typically, this takes 60 to 90 days. After that, you should be in the clear to refinance.

You can get out of your current auto loan if you trade in your car, refinance it or sell it. However, selling your car when you still have a loan can be complicated, as you’ll need to pay off your current lender so the title can be transferred to the new buyer.