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If you improve your credit, make more money now, or are in a better financial position, you may want to refinance your car loan.
This is a great way to save money if you have a bad credit card loan now but qualify for something better.
Refinancing your car isn’t as common as refinancing your house, but the premise is the same. You can save money on your loan and maybe even shorten the term to pay the loan off faster.
If you’re considering refinancing your car loan, check out the best auto loan refinancing lenders below.
At a Glance: Best Auto Loan Refinance Companies
- MotoRefi: Best Overall Auto Loan Refinance Marketplace
- Auto Approve: Runner Up for Competitive Auto Refinance Rates
- RefiJet: Best for Customer Service
- Rate Genius: Best for Multiple Offers
- Autopay: Best for Car Financing Options
- Ally Clearlane: Best for Lease Buyout
- Tresl: Best for Additional Features Beyond Auto Refinance
- Gravity Lending: Best for Prequalified Auto Refinance Offers
- OpenRoad Auto Refinance: Best for Average Credit
- Auto Credit Express: Best Bad Credit Auto Loan Refinance Rates
- LendingClub Auto Refinance: Best for Peer-to-Peer Auto Refinance Opportunities
Best Auto Loan Refinancing Lenders (Compared)
- APR Range: MotoRefi doesn’t explicitly state the average rate, but they advertise rates as low as 1.49% on their website.
- Minimum Credit Score: 650
- Loan Amount: $5,000 – $60,000
- Best for Auto Loan Refinancing. Compare quotes in a matter of minutes.
- Preview Pre-Qualified Auto Loan Rates without impacting your credit score.
- A Customer Representative will help you throughout the entire process.
- A Rating from the Better Business Bureau
- Transparent Pricing, Process, & Fees
- Primarily Focuses on Auto Loan Refinancing
- Consumers Need a Decent Credit Score to Utilize the MotoRefi Service to its full advantage. However, the process is quick, easy, & transparent.
MotoRefi is redefining the way consumers refinance auto loans. They have created the easiest process for consumers to refinance auto loans, shop around for new rates, and avoid bad car loan deals altogether.
So, if you are on the market to refinance your auto loan, then MotoRefi is worth looking into. Their application is quick, easy, and straightforward. Without damaging your credit score, you can preview rates from multiple lenders within minutes.
It is important to note that MotoRefi is an auto loan refinance marketplace.
Simply fill out the form, and they will work with their network of Auto Loan Refinance Lenders to provide you with tailored (low) auto loan refinance rates.
Learn More: MotoRefi Review
#2. Auto Approve
- APR Range: Starting at 2.25%
- Minimum Credit Score: Varies by lender
- Loan Amount: At least $7,500
- One application could match you with multiple lenders and loan options
- You can talk to an actual loan officer rather than just a computer
- Offers auto refinance, lease buyouts, and motorcycle refinance
- Offers personalized service rather than treating customers like a number
- Cars must be less than 10 years old and have no more than 150,000 miles
- You must have at least $1,500 monthly income
- You must owe at least $7,500 on your loan to qualify
If you want to keep your car but would love to ditch your car payments, Auto Approve may help. Like most of the other marketplaces on our list, Auto Approve isn’t a lender.
They are a marketplace that brings together car owners who want to refinance and lenders. You complete one application and get multiple offers to refinance your auto loan.
The difference with Auto Approve is you get to talk to an actual person once you apply rather than handling everything online.
Learn More: Auto Approve Review
- APR Range: 2.45% – 17.99%
- Minimum Credit Score: 580
- Loan Amount: $7,500 – $150,000
- RefiJet only does a soft credit pull to match you with lenders
- You can get multiple offers with one application to compare side-by-side
- Co-signers allowed
- Loan terms as long as 96 months allowed (only choose this if absolutely necessary, though)
- The lowest rates are only available to excellent credit score borrowers
- Prepayment penalties may apply
- You must make $2,000 or more to qualify
If you’re looking for personalized attention when refinancing your car loan, RefiJet may be the answer. They don’t stick you into a queue or give you a dashboard to answer your questions.
You’re assigned a real live human representative who works with you to get your auto loan refinanced. After providing your information, your RefiJet representative will match you with the loans they feel best match your needs based on what you’ve stated.
Learn More: Full RefiJet Review
- APR Range: 1.99% – 16.0%
- Minimum Credit Score: 550
- Loan Amount: $12,000 – $100,000
- It’s easy to compare loans side-by-side with one application
- RateGenius is free to use
- Simple application process
- No obligation to select an offer
- Only works on cars 7 years old or younger
- Cars must have fewer than 100,000 miles
- Only great credit scores get the best rates
If you have good credit and want to refinance your auto loan, RateGenius may be a good option. RateGenius works with a large network of lenders to help you get the best loan for your needs.
While you don’t need perfect credit to use RateGenius, only the best credit borrowers will get the lowest rates.
It takes just minutes to apply for a loan using RateGenius, and there’s no fee to use the service.
- APR Range: 1.99% – 17.99%
- Minimum Credit Score: 600
- Loan Amount: $2,500 – $100,000
- Allows co-applicants to make it easier to qualify
- Check your rate without a hard credit pull
- AutoPay is free to use
- Works with borrowers with all types of credit
- You need a 720 credit score for the best rates
- You must have at least $2,000 monthly income to qualify
- Cars must be less than 11 years old and have fewer than 125,000 miles
AutoPay is a loan marketplace for borrowers looking to refinance their auto loan, but they also match buyers looking for car financing.
AutoPay works best for borrowers with fair credit and for those who want to compare offers from multiple lenders in one place.
Learn More: Autopay Review
#6. Ally Clearlane
- APR Range: 3.74% – 7.49%
- Minimum Credit Score: 580
- Loan Amount: $10,000 – $80,000
- Fast and easy application process
- No hard credit pull to check your rate
- Co-signers allowed
- Offers large loan amounts
- Must make at least $2,000 a month to qualify
- Cars must be younger than 10 years old and have less than 120,000 miles
- Not available in all states
If you want to see if refinancing your auto loan would benefit you, check out Ally Clearlane. You can refinance your auto loan or get lease buyout financing.
Clearlane is good for borrowers with average credit scores or those who need a co-applicant as Clearlane has the most options for both situations.
The application process takes only minutes, and you’ll know right away what you qualify for to see if it helps your situation.
#7. Tresl Auto Refinance
- APR Range: 2.49% – 23.99%
- Minimum Credit Score: 500
- Loan Amount: $5,000 – $100,000
- Free marketplace that matches you with loans based on your qualifying criteria
- Works with all credit scores
- No hard credit inquiry to check your rates
- You don’t have to commit to a loan if it doesn’t benefit you
- Only the best credit borrowers get the lowest rates
- Cars must be younger than 10 years old and have fewer than 150,000 miles
- You must have owned the vehicle for at least 6 months
Tresl offers various auto loan options, including auto refinance, lease buyouts, and company vehicle purchases. It’s a good option for low credit score borrowers.
Tresl doesn’t charge an application fee, and there’s no obligation to take a loan after getting your offers. Tresl also offers additional products, including gap insurance and service protection plans.
#8. Gravity Lending
- APR Range: Starting at 1.99%
- Minimum Credit Score: 580+
- Loan Amounts: $10,000 – $150,000
- A free marketplace that matches you with lenders with just one application
- Offers some of the lowest interest rates in the market
- You may qualify for no payment for the first 90 days
- Doesn’t hurt your credit to check your rate
- You need ‘great’ credit to get the best rates
- You need two years of tax returns if you are self-employed
- It’s not available in all states
Gravity Lending is a free online marketplace that matches applicants with lenders based on your qualifying criteria. Gravity doesn’t charge any application fees, and it doesn’t hurt your credit to get prequalified.
The entire process occurs online, and Gravity takes care of paying off your old lender fast so you can enjoy your new loan and savings faster.
#9. OpenRoad Auto Refinance
- Co-applicants are allowed, which may help you qualify for a better loan
- Perfect credit isn’t needed (although the best rates are for high credit borrowers)
- No application fee
- You can shop your rates without hurting your credit score
- You must make at least $1,500 a month to qualify
- Your car must be younger than 8 years old and have less than 140,000 miles
- Not all cars are eligible
OpenRoad offers auto loan refinancing for borrowers with mediocre to great credit and everything in between.
Like most auto refinance lenders, OpenRoad doesn’t charge an application fee, and they’ll match you with the most affordable lender your qualifying factors allow.
OpenRoad Lending is rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau and offers auto owners many options to secure auto financing with a shorter term or lower rate than they currently have.
#10. Auto Credit Express
- APR Range: Up to 35.99%
- Minimum Credit Score: 580+
- Loan Amounts: Varies
- Good for borrowers with low credit scores
- Has flexible (and only a few) requirements to qualify
- Helps low credit borrowers secure a lower interest rate
- Doesn’t hurt your credit to check your rate
- Interest rates can get high since they cater to low credit borrowers
- Only works with Auto Credit Express lending partners
Auto Credit Express specializes in bad credit auto loan refinances. If you’ve made your car payments on time for the last 18 months, you stand a good chance in refinancing to get better rates.
Like any finance company, the better your credit score, the more opportunities you’ll have, but Auto Credit Express works with lenders who cater to borrowers with bad credit.
#11. LendingClub Auto Refinance
- APR Range: Varies
- Minimum Credit Score: 640+
- Loan Amounts: $5,000 – $55,000
- Doesn’t charge an origination fee
- Doesn’t charge a prepayment penalty
- Provides two loan options for you to compare
- Offers great rates
- Doesn’t work in every state
- Not all cars qualify
Most people know LendingClub for its peer-to-peer loans, but they also offer direct auto refinance loans. You can get an instant offer, and it doesn’t hurt your credit score to check your rate.
You can get two quotes – one for a term that matches the time left on your loan and one with an extended-term which lowers your payment but increases the total interest you pay on the loan.
A Guide to Auto Refinance
How Does Auto Loan Refinancing Work?
Auto loan refinancing is just like refinancing your mortgage. You take out a new loan to replace your existing car loan. The new loan pays off the old loan and potentially saves you money or shortens your term.
You must qualify for the loan, just like you would a loan to purchase a car. Lenders will pull your credit, ask for proof of your income and possibly other qualifying documentation to ensure you are a good risk and can afford the loan.
When Should You Refinance Your Car Loan?
If you improved your credit score, your income increased, or you can afford a larger payment (shorter-term), refinancing your car loan may be a good idea.
Always look at the big picture, though. Don’t assume a lower payment is better – look at the bottom line. How much does the loan cost you overall? Include the origination fee and all interest you’ll pay on the loan.
If you are having trouble affording your car loan, you may end up paying more interest over the life of the loan if you extend the term, but sometimes it’s what’s needed to make the payment affordable. Look at all options before deciding.
How to Refinance a Car (Step-by-Step)
#1. Make Sure You Are Current on Payments & Not Upside-Down
Lenders want the best qualifying factors, and it starts with your payment history. When they pull your credit, they’ll first look at your credit score. Next, they’ll look at your car payment history.
If you don’t make your car payments on time, most lenders won’t consider you for a refinance.
The only exception to the rule is if you’re looking for a loan with a longer-term (smaller payment). You’ll still need decent credit to qualify, but the payment history may not be as important.
Also, make sure you aren’t upside down on the loan. This means you owe more than the car is worth. If you were to sell your car today, you wouldn’t make enough money to pay off the loan and would have to dig into your bank account to pay it off.
If you’re upside down, most lenders won’t lend to you because there’s not enough collateral in the loan. Refinance before your car’s value drops, and it’s impossible to refinance.
#2. Review Your Credit Score
Your credit score is the first thing most lenders look at. If you don’t know your credit score, you can do one of three things:
- Sign up for free credit score reporting from your bank or credit card company (most offer free access today)
- Sign up for a free Experian account and check your credit score
- Sign up for Credit Karma and check your credit scores
You can also get free access to your credit report here. This won’t give you a credit score, but you can see your credit history.
Your credit history is what makes up your credit score, so if you have late payments, overextended credit, or collections, find out what they are and do your best to fix them, so your credit score improves.
You don’t need perfect credit to qualify for an auto loan refinance, but good credit always gets the best interest rates.
#3. Shop Around for the Best Auto Loan Refinance Rate
Take advantage of the opportunity to shop around for the best auto loan rates. Today you don’t have to apply with multiple lenders – you can try one of the marketplaces discussed above and shop around with just one loan application.
Most marketplaces do a soft credit pull, so it doesn’t hurt your credit to check your rates and see what offers you may receive.
Compare two to three auto loan refinance rates side-by-side, looking at the term, interest rate, and total loan cost before choosing a loan.
#4. Double Check Car Lender Requirements
Once you choose a lender, make sure you’re clear on the car lender requirements. Each lender has different requirements, including the type of car, make/model of the car, car’s age, minimum monthly income, and whether they allow a co-applicant.
Before you agree to go with an offer, make sure you’re certain. Once you accept the offer, the lender does a hard credit pull which means you’ll have an inquiry on your credit report.
It only knocks a few points off your credit score, but it’s best to be sure you are ready to move on with a lender before allowing the hard pull.
#5. Ensure Car Title Is Clear
The lender will make sure your car title is clear, meaning you don’t have any liens on it. If the title isn’t clear, you won’t be able to refinance your loan until you clear it up.
#6. Submit Paperwork
Provide the lender with the required paperwork. The faster you provide the documentation, the faster you can refinance.
Usually, once you submit the paperwork, it takes a few days, and you’ll have your new loan. If the underwriter asks for more documentation, provide it quickly to get your loan refinanced faster.
#7. Create A Financial Game Plan to Make You Keep Making Your Payments On-Time
Before you close on the loan, make sure you can afford it. Create your budget and make sure the new car payment fits well, especially if you shortened the term and have a higher car payment.
A shorter-term is a great way to save money, but you’ll accrue more interest and hurt your credit if you can’t make the payments on time.
How to Choose a Good Auto Refinance Lender: What to Look For
Here are things consumers need to consider when choosing an Auto Loan Refinance Lender. These factors will help narrow down your search and secure the best auto loan refinance rate.
A lower APR means less cost to borrow money. If you’re trying to lower your payments and/or save money on your loan, look for the lowest APR.
Don’t be fooled by extremely low APRs, though. Look for origination fees, too and make sure the low rate is worth the fee. Ask the lender to see the rate without the origination fee so you can compare.
Many loan marketplaces like we discussed above don’t charge any fees, but the lender who underwrites your loan likely will.
Look at the big picture, including all upfront fees and any prepayment fees the lender charges. Read the fine print and look for the loan with the lowest fees.
Attractive Loan Amounts
It doesn’t make sense to refinance with a lender that doesn’t offer the loan amount you need. Look at your outstanding loan amount and find a lender that offers loan amounts within the amount you need.
Loan Terms Offered
The shorter the loan term, the more money you’ll save in the long run. However, a shorter term means a higher payment which can make it hard to afford. Look at the big picture and compare your options.
If you can afford the shortest term, you’ll save the most money, but sometimes a slightly longer-term is a safer bet if you aren’t sure about affordability.
Legit lenders should be transparent with their APRS, fees, and fine print online. If you find it hard to get details because the lender keeps everything under wraps and makes you call to talk to someone to find out details, they aren’t very transparent and could be hiding something.
Strong Customer Support
Customer support is the key to a good loan. If you have trouble making payments, need help making a payment, or want to know how to pay your loan off, you need a responsive customer service team.
Read reviews about a company’s customer service and even test it out yourself before taking the loan to see what you think.
The internet makes it easy to find out a company’s credibility. Read reviews, check the Better Business Bureau, and look on marketplace websites to see what others have to say about a company.
You’ll know right away if they are legit or not by the responses people have about it.
Favor Auto Refinance Marketplaces
Auto refinance marketplaces are the best way to get the best loan. You complete one application and receive multiple offers.
This allows you the chance to look at your options, compare different loans side-by-side, and decide which one is right for you.
Pros and Cons of Auto Refinancing
- It’s possible to secure a lower interest rate
- You may save money on interest over the life of the loan
- You may be able to shorten the loan’s term
- You can extend the term if you can’t afford your current payment
- It costs money to refinance
- You may not qualify for the best/lowest interest rates
- Not all cars are eligible
Auto Refinance Companies FAQs
Can I Refinance My Car Loan with Bad Credit?
You may be able to refinance your car loan with bad credit but watch the rates and fees. Lenders often charge much higher interest rates and fees to make up for the risk of lending to someone with bad credit.
Can I Refinance If I Am Upside-Down on My Car Loan?
Most lenders will not refinance your car loan if you are upside down (owe more than the car is worth). The car is the collateral for the loan, and if the value isn’t high enough, lenders can’t lend you money.
What Will Refinancing My Auto Loan Cost Me?
Each lender charges different fees. Some charge origination fees while others don’t. The better your credit score and qualifying factors, the less the loan may cost you.
Can I Refinance More than I Owe on My Car?
Very few lenders will lend you more money than you owe on your car. If they do, it’s only for borrowers who have enough value in their car to leave room for cash out. The lender still uses your car as collateral for the loan.
Can I Refinance My Car Loan Through the Same Lender?
Yes, you can refinance your car loan through your same lender, but it’s in your best interest to shop around and see what other offers are out there for you.
Does Auto Refinancing Hurt Your Credit?
Auto refinancing may hurt your credit initially, but it won’t last long. Any time you take out a new loan, your credit score falls because of the new credit.
It lowers your credit age and puts an inquiry on your credit report. As you pay the loan on time, though, your credit score may increase even higher than it was before.
Can I Transfer My Car Loan to Another Person?
You can only transfer your car loan to another person if the bank approves it. Just like you had to qualify for the loan, so will the person you transfer the loan to, and the bank must approve it.
What is the Downside of Refinancing a Car?
If you refinance your car and take out a longer loan, it will take longer to pay off the loan, plus you’ll pay more interest over the loan’s term.
You should only refinance if you can afford the same or shorter term, and you’ll save money by refinancing. Don’t forget to figure in the fees to refinance to make sure it makes sense.
Bottom Line: Best Auto Loan Refinance Companies
Shop around to get the best deal with refinancing your car loan. You have many options, especially if you have great credit, but an auto loan marketplace is the best way to shop around and get the best deal on your car loan.