Refinancing your car can save you money by lowering your interest rate, reducing your monthly payment, and lowering the total amount of interest you pay on your loan. We’ve evaluated the best auto refinance loans based on rates, terms, loan options, customer reviews, and overall quality.
Personalized quote in a few minutes
$5,000 - $100,000
Caribou connects you with a network of auto loan lenders, so you can save time and compare multiple quotes in just a few clicks.
What we like
- No SSN required
- Prequalify with a soft credit check
- Online application process
- Accepts co-borrowers
What we don't
- Processing fees
- Vehicle restrictions
- No customer support on weekends
Easy online application
$9,000 - $60,000
Upstart uses leading AI technology to assess the true risk of a borrower and improve access to affordable credit.
What we like
- Easy online application
- Soft credit inquiry
- Flexible loan amounts and terms
- Considers variables in addition to credit history
- Low minimum credit score requirement
What we don't
- Low maximum loan amount
- Co-borrowers not allowed
- Only personal income considered
When you check your rate, we check your credit report. This initial (soft) inquiry will not affect your credit score. If you accept your rate and proceed with your application, we do another (hard) credit inquiry that will impact your credit score. If you take out a loan, repayment information will be reported to the credit bureaus.
Although educational information is collected as part of Upstart’s rate check process, neither Upstart nor its bank partners have a minimum educational attainment requirement in order to be eligible for a loan.
The full range of available rates varies by state. The average 5-year loan offered on Upstart will have an APR of 10.56% and 60 monthly payments of $463 per $20,000 borrowed. For example, the total cost of a $20,000 loan would be $27,795. APR is calculated based on.
5-year rates offered in April 2022. There is no down payment and no prepayment penalty. Your APR will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will be approved.
Directly pays your existing auto loan
$5,000 - $100,000
Upgrade will assist you in refinancing your current auto loan at a cheaper interest rate by using loans from its bank partners.
What we like
- Direct repayment of existing auto loan
- No prepayment penalties
- Easy online application process
- View rates without hard credit check
What we don't
- Loan terms not revealed before application
- Only personal vehicles allowed
- Loans not offered for new purchases
No restrictions on age or mileage
$5,000 - $100,000
LightStream Auto Loans are a good fit for borrowers that are looking for same-day funding and no vehicle restrictions on age or mileage.
What we like
- Same-day funding available
- Power to negotiate as a cash buyer
- AutoPay discount
- No restrictions on age or mileage
- No fees
What we don't
- Pre-qualification not available
- Excellent credit is required for the lowest rates
Should you refinance your car?
If you want to refinance your car loan, you’re probably wondering how much you can save. The answer depends on many factors, including the type of loan you have and your credit score. But if you’re planning to refinance your auto loan, here are some of the benefits:
- Lower monthly payment: When refinancing a car loan, you could get better terms from another lender and use those terms to pay off the rest of your outstanding debt. This could lead to lower payments overall and help you save money in the long run.
- Lower interest rate: If your current interest rate is high, refinancing could help lower it, provided the new lender has a lower rate. Lowering your interest rate can make a big difference in how much money you pay each month toward your loan balance.
- Making car payments more manageable: If you’re struggling to make ends meet each month, refinancing can help alleviate some of the pressure by spreading out payments over several years instead of just one or two years. For example, if your current loan has payments every two weeks, but you’d prefer monthly payments, refinancing could give you what you want without changing the amount owed on your current loan or vehicle itself.
- Free up cash for other purposes: You could use the money you save from refinancing to pay off another debt or invest in something else. If you’re struggling financially, this might be the best way to improve your situation.
What is considered fair credit?
FICO® uses a grading system to classify credit scores, and it deems a credit score between 580 and 669 to be a fair score. Fair credit is can be good enough to get approved for most loans and credit cards, but slight differences in scores can mean the difference between being approved and not. Most lenders use FICO® as their go-to scoring model, so knowing your FICO® score is critical.
Your credit score is not the same as your credit report. Your credit report contains all the information about your current loans, mortgages, and credit cards, plus any late payments or public record items associated with each account. Your credit score is based on the information in your report and ranges from 300-850.
How to improve a fair credit score?
Here are some ways to improve your overall credit score:
- Payments are on time: To improve your score, you want to make sure you pay all of your bills on time. If you have a problem paying your bills, contact the creditor as soon as possible, so they can help you work out a payment plan.
- Pay down your debts: Focus on paying down your debts. This will help you improve your credit score in the long run. However, it may take some time before you start to see positive results.
- Keep your balances low: Another way to improve your credit score is by keeping your balances low. You should keep your card balances below 30% of your total credit limit.
When can you refinance a car loan?
If you’re considering refinancing your car loan, here are a few questions to ask yourself before leaping.
- Financial situation has improved: If you’re in a better financial situation now than when you got your car loan, it may be worth refinancing your car loan to take advantage of lower interest rates and other offers available today.
- Having trouble keeping up with monthly bills: If you are having trouble making the payments on your current car loan, you should consider refinancing your loan with a new lender that can offer more favorable terms, such as a longer term where payments are stretched out, but your overall loan cost will be higher.
- Interest rates have dropped: If interest rates have dropped since you first took out your loan — even just a few points — it’s worth checking if you can refinance. For example, if you financed $20,000 at 4% but now qualify for a 3% rate, you could reduce your monthly payments by thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.
How do you refinance a car loan?
Here’s how to refinance a car loan:
- Decide if refinancing is the right financial move: Refinancing your car loan can help you lower your monthly payments and pay off the debt faster. However, it’s important to consider if refinancing is right for you and how much it will save you.
- Check your credit score: Before you refinance your car loan, it’s critical that you have a good understanding of your credit score. This will ensure you qualify for a new loan at best possible interest rate.
- Apply for a new auto loan: Once you know which lender has the lowest rate, it’s time to apply for the loan. You can typically apply for an auto loan online or over the phone.
- Get your paperwork in order and apply: Once you’ve chosen a lender and decided on a loan amount, it’s time to fill out an application with your personal information and income documents. The lender will use this information to determine whether or not you qualify for the loan and what interest rate they’ll offer you. If all goes well and you get approved for a new car loan, your old one will be paid off, and you’ll have a new vehicle payment that fits within your budget.
- Shop around for the best refinancing rates: Shop around for the best refinance rates because they can vary widely. Credit unions and online lenders often offer lower rates than traditional banks. You can also check with your current bank to see if they’ll offer you a better rate than what they’re currently charging you.
- Review the terms and sign the contract: Before signing any contract, review all terms carefully, so there are no surprises later on down the road. Ensure that you understand exactly how much those payments cost each month.
Does refinancing hurt your credit?
In most cases, refinancing your car has little impact on your credit score as it’ll only temporarily negatively affect it during a hard credit pull, but it can improve it in the long run.
Since refinancing doesn’t increase your overall debt payments but frees up more money if you got a lower rate, it can help bring down the debt-to-income ratio and improve your score.
Can you refinance if you owe more than your car is worth?
An upside-down loan is when your car’s value is lower than what you owe on your loan, and you may be able to refinance your car even when it is underwater. The process can be a little more complicated than refinancing your house or securing a mortgage on a different property, but it’s doable. After all, the loan on your car is still a loan and should be treated like any other debt you may have. You can refinance it if you’ve paid it down sufficiently. It’s always wise to consult with your lender before beginning the refinance process.
An upside-down loan is one where the car’s value has depreciated past the point where it’s worth less than the outstanding balance loan. Lenders know cars depreciate quickly. Cars depreciate in value quickly and lose about 20% of their value in the first year and around 50% to 60% after five years.
How to choose the best auto refinance loans for fair credit
Here are tips for choosing the best auto refinance loans for fair credit:
- Shop around: The first step when looking for an auto refinance loan is shopping around. You want to find the best rate and terms that fit your needs. Make sure you understand all fees associated with the loan before committing.
- Fees: You may be charged an origination fee if you have a fair or poor credit score. An origination fee may also be charged if you want to refinance into a long-term or pay down more of your loan amount.
- Customer service: You want to be sure that any problems with your application are resolved quickly and easily so that you don’t get behind on payments or fall behind on other bills. A good customer service team will help you along the way.
- Refinancing requirements: The first step is to check your eligibility. Most lenders require that you have a good credit score, a stable income, and sufficient assets to secure the loan. They also want proof of employment, such as W-2s or 1099s.
- Interest rates: Interest rates are often determined by your credit score and history of paying off loans on time. If you have fair credit, your interest rate may be higher than that of someone with excellent credit. However, refinancing at a lower rate can help you reduce your monthly payments and reduce how much interest you pay over time.