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5 Best Auto Loan Refinance Lenders (2021)

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If you’re having trouble making your auto loan payments or your credit score has recently improved, you may want to refinance your auto loan. Before you do so, make sure that auto loan refinancing is right for you.

Our team has researched the best auto loan providers in the industry. In this guide, we’ll share information about auto loan refinancing as well as bank and lender recommendations. If you want to find auto loan refinancing offers right away, visit AutoApprove.com.

 

In this article:

What Is Auto Loan Refinancing?

Put simply, auto loan refinancing is when you take out a new auto loan to pay off your existing loan. The reason you might do this is to consolidate your debt with one lender or to secure better loan terms. By refinancing your car loan, you might be able to lower your monthly payment or overall interest. Even if you aren’t able to get a lower interest rate, you may be able to lower your monthly payments if you refinance your auto loan for a longer term.

 


 

Is It Worth It To Refinance An Auto Loan?

It can be worth it to refinance your auto loan, but isn’t always a smart move – it depends on your particular situation. Consider auto loan refinancing if any of the following apply:

You have trouble making your monthly payments. If you can’t meet your monthly car payment either because you budgeted poorly when you took out your original loan or your financial situation has changed, you might look into refinancing your auto loan. You can refinance for a longer term to reduce monthly payments.

You want to consolidate your debt. You can sometimes improve your credit score by consolidating your debt with one bank. This would include your auto loan and any other open loans or credit lines.

Federal interest rates drop. When the Federal Reserve lowers interest rates, banks may lower the rates they offer to customers. You can monitor the federal interest rate on the Federal Reserve website.

Your credit score has improved. The main factor that determines your auto loan interest rate is your credit score. If your credit score moves above 500, 600, 660, or 780, you may be eligible for a lower interest rate. You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report at least once a year. Visit AnnualCreditReport.com for more information.

You think your current auto loan is a (relatively) bad deal. If you think you were given a bad deal by your current lender, you might try refinancing with another company to secure a better one. The tables below show average auto loan annual percentage rates (APRs) for different credit score ranges. Data comes from a 2020 Experian State of the Auto Finance Market report.

Average Rates for New Car Purchases
Credit ScoreAverage Auto Loan Rate
300 – 50013.97%
501 – 60011.33%
601 – 6607.14%
661 – 7804.21%
781 – 8503.24%
 
Average Rates for Used Car Purchases
Credit ScoreAverage Auto Loan Rate
300 – 50020.67%
501 – 60017.78%
601 – 66011.41%
661 – 7806.05%
781 – 8504.08%
 

If your rates exceed those listed for your credit range above, it may be a good idea for you to look into auto loan refinancing. Typically, you need to have made at least six to twelve months of on-time payments before you will be able to refinance your auto loan.

 


 

5 Best Auto Loan Refinance Lenders

If you’re ready to seriously consider refinancing, the next step is to find the best refinance auto loan lender. The table below recommends five of the top auto loan refinance companies.

Refinance Auto Loan ProviderLowest APR OfferedRefinance Auto Loan AmountsTerm Lengths
Auto Approve1.90%$7,500 to $150,00012 to 84 months
PenFed Credit Union2.14%$500 to $100,00036 to 84 months
LightStream2.49%$5,000 to $100,00024 to 84 months
Consumers Credit Union2.69%Not specified60 to 84 months
Auto Credit ExpressNot specifiedNot specifiedVaries
 

 


 

Auto Approve is a good choice if you have an excellent credit score. Unlike the other providers on this list, Auto Approve is an auto loan broker. This means that the company will match you with a refinance loan administrator to fit your needs. Auto Approve is a good place to start because you can browse offers from several lenders to get an idea of what sort of refinancing you can expect.

The lowest rate offered by Auto Approve is 1.9 percent, which is among the lowest refinancing rates we have seen from any lender. To receive this rate, however, you will need to have an excellent credit score (higher than 780).

Auto Approve is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), where it has an A+ rating and a near-perfect 4.79 out of 5-star customer review score based on over 500 reviews.

Auto Approve ProsAuto Approve Cons
Low interest rates

Does not offer loans to drivers with very bad credit or

no credit history

Strong customer service reputation 
Easy and fast application process 
 

To learn more about this lender, read our complete Auto Approve review. You can also start comparing rates by visiting AutoApprove.com.

 


 

A financial institution like PenFed Credit Union is a good place to look for auto loan refinancing. If you are trying to consolidate your debt, PenFed also offers debt consolidation loans, though with a higher interest rate (6.49 percent APR).

If you have a low credit score, you may not be eligible for auto loan refinancing with PenFed Credit Union, as the minimum credit requirements are higher than those of other lenders.

PenFed Credit Union is not accredited by the BBB, but it does have an A+ rating from the BBB.

PenFed Credit Union ProsPenFed Credit Union Cons
Offers exceptionally low interest ratesModerate customer service reputation
A+ rating from the BBBDoes not offer loans to drivers with poor credit
 Customer reports describe a slow application process
 

 


 

LightStream is the auto loan subsidiary of Truist Financial Corporation, the sixth-largest bank holding company in the United States. LightStream offers an online loan application. You can apply, pre-qualify, and receive an auto loan in as little as 24 hours. With LightStream, you’ll find flexible payment terms, a simple application process, and high loan limits.

LightStream is not accredited by the BBB, and it has a B- rating from the organization. However, there have been very few complaints filed against the company in the last three years.

LightStream ProsLightStream Cons
Offered through a bank with an established reputationMay not offer loans to those with poor or no credit
High loan amount limitsDoesn’t have a shining customer service reputation
No fees 
 

To learn more about this lender, read our full LightStream review.

 


 

Consumers Credit Union (CCU) was founded in Michigan in 1951. While there are only 20 CCU bank locations in the U.S., anyone can refinance their auto loan by applying online. The bank was named the top Michigan credit union in 2013 by MiBiz as well as the top credit union to work for by Credit Union Journal in 2017, 2018, and 2019.

Consumers Credit Union has an A+ rating and accreditation with the BBB. While there are few customer reviews on the BBB website, there are also very few complaints.

Consumers Credit Union ProsConsumers Credit Union Cons
A+ rating and accreditation from the BBBDoes not offer short contract terms (60-month minimum)
0.5% rate reduction for CCU members 
Strong industry reputation 
 

 


 

Auto Credit Express is a Michigan-based auto loan broker. This means that it partners with financial institutions to match customers with the best loans based on their needs and credit profile. In addition to new and used car loans, the company matches borrowers with auto loan refinancing options.

Auto Credit Express specializes in loans for customers with poor credit and bankruptcies. However, if your credit score is under 560, the company recommends you raise your credit score before applying for refinancing.

Auto Credit Express is accredited by the BBB, and it has an A+ rating. The customer review score is very low at only 1.68 out of 5 stars based on just over 30 reviews. This number represents a small fraction of the total business that Auto Credit Express conducts. On Trustpilot – where Auto Credit Express has a 4.7 out of 5.0 star rating – customers praise the company’s high level of customer service.

Auto Credit Express ProsAuto Credit Express Cons
A+ rating and accreditation from the BBBMixed online customer reviews
Offers financing for customers with bad or no credit 
Pairs customers with loans based on credit profile 
Offers special rates for military members 
 

 


 

Final Thoughts On Auto Loan Refinancing

Any of the lenders on our list are a good place to look for auto loan refinancing. But they aren’t the only lenders to consider. Be sure to visit local banks and credit unions to discuss your auto refinancing options. It can be more of a hassle to visit banks in person, but you have the advantage of being able to speak face-to-face with an expert who can walk you through your options.

If you’d prefer to see multiple refinance auto loan offers at once, you can do so by clicking below or visiting AutoCreditExpress.com.

 

 

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How to Start Over When You’ve Lost Everything

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Upset women laying on the wood floor of her living room and petting her dog.

Image source: Getty Images

When you’re down to nothing, you have everything to gain.

People start over for many reasons, including job loss, divorce, illness, and business failure. Whatever the reason, if you’re starting anew, here are some steps to take in rebuilding.

Acknowledge the twist

Remember that you’re not starting from scratch. The fact that you’ve lost assets means that you had assets to lose. Whether that’s a retirement account, home, or business doesn’t matter. You know what it’s like to work for — and achieve — something. You did it once; you can do it again.

Establish credit in your name

If you don’t have much credit in your name, establish your own healthy credit file by taking out small amounts of credit and paying them off like clockwork each month. If your credit score has taken a hit, apply for a credit card for people with bad credit, use it to make small purchases, and pay it off each month before the bill comes due. Or you might ask someone you’re close to to add you as a user on their credit card. Your credit score gets a boost each time they make a payment, even if you never touch the card yourself.

Invest right away

The sooner you begin, the faster you can recoup losses. Maybe you can’t invest as much as you once did. That’s okay. Something is better than nothing, and you can add to your investment pot over time. The more time compound interest works its magic, the better. Every dollar helps, whether you plan to retire in 10 years or 30.

If you’re employed by a company that matches a percentage of 401(k) contributions, do whatever you can to contribute at least that much. The matching funds are basically free money.

Let’s say you earn $60,000 annually, plan to work 15 more years, and your employer matches up to 5% of your contributions. Here’s how much you’ll have put away with just your 5% on its own:

Annual Income

Percent Contributed

Amount Contributed

Average Annual Rate of Return

Time Until Retirement

Value At Retirement

$60,000

5%

$250/month, before taxes

7%

15 years

$75,387

Since your employer also matches that 5% of your income, you’ll have $150,774 instead.

If you were to raise your pre-tax contributions to 10%, here’s how it would look instead:

Annual Income

Percent Contributed

Amount Contributed

Average Annual Rate of Return

Time Until Retirement

Value At Retirement

$60,000

10%

$500/month, before taxes

7%

15 years

$150,774

Including the additional 5% contributed by your employer, you would have $226,161 at 15 years. It’s not a fortune, but could be very helpful. By the way, if you don’t touch it for 20 years, that nest egg would be worth nearly $369,000. If you don’t plan to retire for 30 years, it will be worth more than $850,000.

If you’re not with a company that matches contributions, find a brokerage firm that supplies the level of education and direction you’re looking for and get started.

Get professional help

After financial trauma of any sort, it’s tempting to invest aggressively. While in some circumstances it could be an effective way to make up for losses, it may not be the best move if you’re closing in on retirement. Consider working with a financial advisor, even if it’s on an hourly basis and you pay only for their time helping you come up with a smart investment strategy.

Postpone Social Security

One thing my husband and I (and many of our friends) have done is raise the age at which we expect to retire. We don’t see it as a sad thing. I never want to stop working, and now that my husband is in a job that tickles him, he’s not in a hurry either. The minimum age to retire is 62, but if you can wait until you’re 70, you max out your monthly Social Security payments.

Find support

Millions of people have made money, lost money, and started over. Chances are you already know a few people who’ve redesigned their lives from the bottom up. Talk to them. Ask them what they learned from the experience. If they had it to do over again, is there anything they would change?

People who experience hardship often have the best stories to tell and are often an excellent source of inspiration. It may not be easy now, but with luck, you can look back one day and say, “Hey, I did okay — despite the unexpected setbacks.”

Top credit card wipes out interest until late 2022

If you have credit card debt, transferring it to this top balance transfer card can allow you to pay 0% interest for a whopping 18 months! That’s one reason our experts rate this card as a top pick to help get control of your debt. It’ll allow you to pay 0% interest on both balance transfers and new purchases until late 2022, and you’ll pay no annual fee. Read The Ascent’s full review for free and apply in just 2 minutes.

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How Do I Sell My Vehicle With Joint Ownership?

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A joint auto loan is when two borrowers have rights and responsibility to the same vehicle and loan. If you have a cosigner, then you, the primary borrower, have all the rights to the vehicle. Here’s what you need to know when you need to sell your car with two people responsible for the loan.

Selling a Joint-Owned Vehicle

Joint owners are typically spouses or life partners who combine their income to meet income requirements or get a larger loan amount. Both co-borrowers are responsible for paying the car loan and have 50/50 rights to the vehicle, so both their names are listed on the title.

Since your co-borrower has the same rights and obligations to the vehicle as you, you must get their permission to sell the car. In most cases, they also need to be present for the sale to sign the title. This may not always be the case, though, so it’s important to know how to read your car’s title.

If you have it, take a look at your vehicle’s title for the names listed on the back where you sign to transfer ownership. For example: let’s say your name is Jane and your co-borrower’s name is Joe. You’re likely to see either:

  • “Jane and Joe”
  • “Jane or Joe”
  • “Jane and/or Joe”

If you see “and/or” or the connector “or”, this typically means only one person needs to be present for the sale of the car. But if you see “and” this means both of you need to be present to transfer ownership – this is usually the case with joint ownership.

In all three cases, you still need the permission of the co-borrower to sell the vehicle even if they don’t have to be physically present to sign the title. If you sell it without the co-borrowers consent, it may be considered a crime because it’s their property, too. Moving forward, discuss the sale with your co-borrower to avoid potential legal trouble.

Selling a Car With a Cosigner

How Do I Sell My Car With Joint Ownership?If you have a cosigner on your car loan, then things become easier. A cosigner doesn’t have any rights to the vehicle and their name isn’t on the title. Their purpose is to help you get approved for the auto loan with their credit score, and by promising the lender to repay the loan if you’re unable to. A cosigner can’t take your vehicle, sell it, or stop you from selling it yourself.

However, it’s nice to let them know if you do decide to sell the car because the auto loan is listed on their credit reports. If you can, reach out to them about your plans to sell the vehicle. The car loan’s status impacts them and could affect their ability to take on new credit when it’s active.

If you sell the vehicle and the lien is successfully removed from the title, then you’re both in the clear.

Removing the Lien From a Vehicle’s Title

If you still have a loan on your car, then your number one priority is paying off your lender. Your lender is the lienholder, and you can’t sell a vehicle without removing them from the title – they own the car until you complete the loan. This typically means paying off the loan balance until naturally during the loan term, or getting enough cash to pay it all off at once from a sale.

When you’re selling a car with a loan, you want to get an offer for your vehicle that’s large enough to cover your loan balance and to remove the lien. If you don’t get a large enough offer, then you need to pay that difference out of pocket before you can sell the vehicle. Or, you may be able to roll over the remaining loan balance onto your next car loan if you’re trading it in for something else.

Looking to Upgrade Your Ride?

Many borrowers ask for help to get the car they need. If you need more income on your loan application to meet requirements, asking a spouse or life partner to chip in can do the trick. If you have a lower credit score, then a cosigner with good credit could help you meet credit score requirements.

But what if you want to go it alone on your next auto loan and your credit isn’t great? A subprime lender could be the answer. Here at Auto Credit Express, we’ve been connecting credit-challenged consumers to dealerships with bad credit resources for over two decades, and we want to help you too.

Fill out our free auto loan request form and we’ll look for a dealer in your local area that’s signed up with subprime lenders. These lenders assist borrowers with many unique credit circumstances to help them get the vehicle they need. Get started today!

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Fixed-rate student loan refinancing rates sink to new record low for the second straight week

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Our goal here at Credible Operations, Inc., NMLS Number 1681276, referred to as “Credible” below, is to give you the tools and confidence you need to improve your finances. Although we do promote products from our partner lenders who compensate us for our services, all opinions are our own.

The latest trends in interest rates for student loan refinancing from the Credible marketplace, updated weekly. (iStock)

Rates for well-qualified borrowers using the Credible marketplace to refinance student loans into 10-year fixed-rate loans hit another new record low during the week of May 3, 2021.

For borrowers with credit scores of 720 or higher who used the Credible marketplace to select a lender, during the week of May 3:

  • Rates on 10-year fixed-rate loans averaged 3.60%, down from 3.69% the week before and 4.32% a year ago. This marks another record low for 10-year fixed rate loans, besting the previous record of 3.69%, set last week.
  • Rates on 5-year variable-rate loans averaged 3.19%, down from 3.23% the week before and up from 3.04% a year ago. Variable-rate loans recorded a record low of 2.63% during the week of June 29, 2020.

Student loan refinancing weekly rate trends

If you’re curious about what kind of student loan refinance rates you may qualify for, you can use an online tool like Credible to compare options from different private lenders. Checking your rates won’t affect your credit score.

Current student loan refinancing rates by FICO score

To provide relief from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, interest and payments on federal student loans have been suspended through at least Sept. 30, 2021. As long as that relief is in place, there’s little incentive to refinance federal student loans. But many borrowers with private student loans are taking advantage of the low interest rate environment to refinance their education debt at lower rates.

If you qualify to refinance your student loans, the interest rate you may be offered can depend on factors like your FICO score, the type of loan you’re seeking (fixed or variable rate), and the loan repayment term. 

The chart above shows that good credit can help you get a lower rate, and that rates tend to be higher on loans with fixed interest rates and longer repayment terms. Because each lender has its own method of evaluating borrowers, it’s a good idea to request rates from multiple lenders so you can compare your options. A student loan refinancing calculator can help you estimate how much you might save. 

If you want to refinance with bad credit, you may need to apply with a cosigner. Or, you can work on improving your credit before applying. Many lenders will allow children to refinance parent PLUS loans in their own name after graduation.

You can use Credible to compare rates from multiple private lenders at once without affecting your credit score.

How rates for student loan refinancing are determined

The rates private lenders charge to refinance student loans depend in part on the economy and interest rate environment, but also the loan term, the type of loan (fixed- or variable-rate), the borrower’s credit worthiness, and the lender’s operating costs and profit margin. 

About Credible

Credible is a multi-lender marketplace that empowers consumers to discover financial products that are the best fit for their unique circumstances. Credible’s integrations with leading lenders and credit bureaus allow consumers to quickly compare accurate, personalized loan options ― without putting their personal information at risk or affecting their credit score. The Credible marketplace provides an unrivaled customer experience, as reflected by over 4,300 positive Trustpilot reviews and a TrustScore of 4.7/5.

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