2023 CarMax Auto Finance Review
CarMax auto loans at a glance
|Used auto loans|
|Loan terms||24-72 months|
|See Auto Loan Rates|
CarMax is the largest dealer of used cars in the country, offering a wide range of financing options. Here’s what you need to know before filling out your loan application:
- Competitive rates: With APRs as low as 4.95% for the most qualified borrowers, CarMax may give other online lenders a run for their money.
- Money-back guarantee: You have 30 days or up to 1,500 miles after purchase to change your mind and get a full refund from CarMax.
- Wide range of loan amounts: CarMax offers a large loan range compared to other lenders, from as low as $500 to as much as $100,000.
- Fully remote purchase and financing options: Borrowers can choose, purchase and finance a vehicle online and arrange for home delivery without needing to leave the comfort of their living room.
- Accepts trade-ins: CarMax will buy your vehicle even if you aren’t also purchasing a car.
- Best for low-credit borrowers looking for a used car: As the largest used car dealer in the U.S., CarMax offers a wide range of financing options and works with nearly all credit profiles.
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CarMax pros and cons
From the size of its inventory to the range of its financing options, CarMax offers appealing options to borrowers on both ends of the credit spectrum. However, there are some additional details to keep in mind.
Complete the entire process online
Buyers with bad credit may qualify
Test drive a vehicle for 24 hours
30 days (and up to 1,500 miles) to change your mind after purchase
Three days to back out of in-house financing if you find a better deal
Accepts trade-ins of old vehicles
No-haggle pricing leaves no room for negotiation
Financing only available for CarMax vehicles
Not available in Alaska, Arkansas, Hawaii, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming
CarMax offers a fully remote purchasing and financing process, though you can also shop in one of its 243 stores. If you live more than 60 miles from a qualifying CarMax store, you may be able to pay a fee to have your car shipped to you, as long as you live in one of the 41 states where CarMax operates. Whether you shop online or in a store, you’re entitled to keep a test drive vehicle for up to 24 hours with no obligation.
If you’d like to trade in a car at the same time you’re buying a new one, CarMax may make an offer on your vehicle even if you aren’t also purchasing a car from CarMax. Appraisals can be completed online or by appointment; you’ll have seven days to accept or reject the offer.
However, when it comes to price, what you see is what you get at CarMax. Although many car buyers hate negotiating the price of a vehicle, you’re likely to get a better deal on a used car from a dealer that allows negotiation. Similarly, you can’t haggle on your trade-in offer.
A closer look at CarMax auto loans
If you decide to buy a used car through CarMax, you don’t have to use its in-house financing or any of its third-party partners. You’re free to use the outside lender of your choice.
If you finance with CarMax, this lender gives you three days to back out of your financing contract if you find a better deal — you won’t pay a penalty or any additional fees. After you purchase your vehicle, you have up to 30 days to return it for any reason for a full refund, as long as you haven’t driven it more than 1,500 miles.
Each CarMax vehicle comes with a 90-day/4,000-mile warranty. For added protection, you can purchase a MaxCare extended service plan, which covers all major systems and includes roadside assistance and rental reimbursement. MaxCare can vary in price depending on the vehicle and plan you choose, and you can choose a deductible between $50 and $300.
How to get a loan with CarMax
If you decide to finance your purchase with CarMax Auto Finance or one of CarMax’s partners, here’s what you can expect from the process:
- Find out how much you can afford. Use the CarMax prequalification tool to learn about the interest rate and terms you may qualify for without any impact on your credit score. You can also get a ballpark estimate of your monthly payments and APRs by using the CarMax payment calculator.
- Choose your lender. While CarMax has its own in-house lender, CarMax Auto Finance, you could also be matched with one of its third-party partners, including:
- Ally Bank
- American Credit Acceptance
- Capital One
- Chase Bank
- Exeter Finance
- Santander Bank
- Westlake Financial Services
If you decide to apply for financing directly through CarMax, you’ll be asked to provide some basic information, including your:
- Social Security number
- Phone number
- Income information
- Employer information
- Co-applicant information (if you choose to apply with one)
How CarMax auto loans compare
CarMax offers competitive APRs for borrowers with excellent credit and a large range of loan amounts, but it’s smart to compare other lenders to be sure you’re receiving the best deal for you. You can also fill out a single form with LendingTree and receive up to five auto loan offers from lenders.
|CarMax||Carvana||Bank of America|
|Terms||24 to 72 months||36 to 72 months||Up to 72 months|
|Amount||$500 to $100,000||Up to $80,000||$7,500 and up|
|Min. credit score||Not disclosed||Not disclosed||Not disclosed|
Is a CarMax loan right for you?
A CarMax loan may be a good fit for you if you’re looking to purchase a used car and you don’t want to haggle over the price. Prone to buyer’s remorse? You may appreciate the full refund policy within 30 days of purchase, as well as the freedom to back out of a financing agreement if you find a better deal within three days.
While it’s always important to shop around, CarMax makes it easy to keep looking even after you’ve signed on the dotted line.
Frequently asked questions
There’s no disclosed minimum credit score for a CarMax auto loan. This lender accommodates borrowers with a range of credit profiles, including first-time buyers. As with all lenders, the higher your credit score, the more likely you are to qualify for special deals, promotional offers and lower APRs.
Buying a car through CarMax can be a good idea if you’re in the market for a used car and would prefer a streamlined purchasing process. With the largest inventory of used vehicles in the country, flexible financing options and a money-back guarantee, this lender should be included on your list of options, especially if you have low or poor credit.
CarMax does not offer auto refinancing. However, if you choose to refinance with a different financial institution, you won’t be charged any penalties or fees for paying off your account early.