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Who Offers The Best Auto Loans In 2020?

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Finding the best auto loans can be tricky. There is a sea of providers out there, and getting stuck with a bad loan can mean years of debt. The difference between a good interest rate and a bad interest rate can add up to thousands of dollars after all is said and done.

When making any major financial decision, it’s important to compare options. This list will point you to a number of reputable auto loan providers to help you decide where to apply. We’ll also explain the application process as well as tips for how to get the lowest auto loan interest rates.

To start comparing the best auto loans from multiple lenders, visit AutoCreditExpress.com.

 

In this article:

Best Auto Loans: 10 Top Providers

There is no one best auto loan provider for everyone. While most people looking for loans will want to find a provider offering the lowest annual percentage rate (APR), the interest rate you receive depends on your credit score as well as a number of other factors. Different financial institutions may also offer different minimum and maximum loan amounts.

Finding the best provider also depends on which type of loan you need: a purchase loan or a refinancing loan. The table below shows some information for a few of the best auto loan providers for a variety of borrower types. Some of the providers listed below administer loans directly to customers, while others are brokers that match customers with loans. Both can be good places to start when looking for the best auto loans.

Auto Loan
Provider
Minimum
Credit Score
Minimum
Annual Income
Loan AmountLowest APR OfferedBroker or Administrator
PenFed
Credit Union
610Not specified$500 to $100,0001.39%Administrator
Auto Approve580$18,000$7,500 to $150,0001.90%Broker
RateGenius550Not specified$12,000 to $100,0001.99%Broker
Autopay630Not specified$2,500 to $100,0001.99%Broker
myAutoloan575$18,000 for refinancing,
$21,000 for purchase loan
$5,000 minimum2.39%Broker
Tresl500Not specified$5,000 to $100,0002.49%Broker
Bank of AmericaNot specifiedNot specified$7,500 minimum2.69%Administrator
Consumers
Credit Union
620$24,000No minimum3.34%Administrator
LightStreamNot specifiedNot specified$5,000 to $100,0003.49%Administrator
Auto Credit
Express
No minimum
credit
$18,000Varies by lenderVaries by lenderBroker
 

Based on the available information, we think some of the best auto loans can be found from the following companies:

  • PenFed Credit Union: Lowest APR
  • Auto Approve: Best for Refinancing
  • Auto Credit Express: Best for Bad Credit

PenFed Credit Union was initially started to serve military members and their families, but its services have since been made available to the general public. While not accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), PenFed Credit union has an A+ BBB score.

The credit requirements for a PenFed Credit Union loan are higher than many other lenders, but it offers some of the lowest interest rates in the industry.

PenFed does have a moderate customer review reputation online, though most complaints filed through the BBB regard PenFed home loans. Also, given the size of PenFed, the number of customer complaints is relatively low.

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
 

Auto Approve only offers loan refinancing, not purchase loans. However, it does this well. While drivers with poor credit may not be eligible for an Auto Approve loan, those who are eligible may find interest rates as low as 1.9 percent.

Auto Approve holds BBB accreditation, an A+ rating, and a perfect 5.0 out of 5.0-star customer review score based on over 500 reviews. As even a one-percent interest rate reduction could save you hundreds of dollars, there’s no reason not to see what refinancing offers you can find with Auto Approve.

Auto Approve ProsAuto Approve Cons
Low interest ratesOnly offers loan refinancing, not purchase loans
Strong customer service reputationDoes not offer loans to drivers with very bad credit or no credit
Easy and fast application process 
 

To learn more about this provider, read our complete Auto Approve review.

Auto Credit Express specializes in loans for customers with poor credit. The company even has representatives that can help loan seekers build their credit scores through their loan repayments.

Customer experiences with Auto Credit Express vary, but few loan providers look to work with customers who have especially bad credit. If you need a vehicle and are having difficulty securing a loan because of poor credit, Auto Credit Express can help. Even drivers going through a bankruptcy or repossession may be able to secure an auto loan from Auto Credit Express.

Auto Credit Express ProsAuto Credit Express Cons
Offers financing for customers with bad or no creditCurrently has a BBB alert regarding licensing issues
Pairs customers with loans based on credit profilePoor customer reviews
Offers special rates for military members 
 

To learn more about this provider, read our full Auto Credit Express review.

 


 

Types Of Auto Loans

In general, car loans can be divided into two categories: purchase loans and refinance loans. A purchase loan is a loan taken out in order to purchase a new or used vehicle. Some lenders may work through dealerships to provide purchase loans, and others may offer to provide loans for private purchases as well.

There are also purchase loans for lease buyouts, in which drivers choose to purchase a vehicle after leasing it for an amount of time.

A refinancing loan is a second loan taken out to pay off an existing auto loan. The reason drivers may choose to refinance a loan is if the new loan offers a lower interest rate, meaning that they will pay a lower overall cost.

People whose credit score or income has recently changed may be interested in a refinancing loan. Or, if you feel that your original loan has particularly bad terms, refinancing your loan with a better lender can save you money.

 


 

How To Apply For An Auto Loan

Many lenders allow borrowers to apply for an auto loan entirely online. In some cases, borrowers can receive same-day financing. Typically, to apply for an auto loan you will need to supply the following information:

  • Personal details such as name, address, and age
  • Social security number
  • Gross annual income information
  • Vehicle information such as vehicle identification number (VIN), age, and mileage

You may also be required to show or submit a copy of the following documents:

  • Driver’s license
  • Pay stubs
  • References

When you apply for a loan, some companies may offer you the opportunity to have a cosigner, another person who will assume responsibility should you fail to make your loan payments. A cosigner may be required for people with exceptionally poor credit.

 


 

How To Find The Best Auto Loan Rates

When shopping for the best auto loans, you’ll get access to the lowest rates if you have a good credit score and financial history. The more money you have, the cheaper interest rate you will be offered. Customers with high credit scores, many assets (such as a house), and a high gross annual income will qualify for the best rates.

If you are trying to improve your credit score, be sure to do the following:

  • Pay your bills on time
  • Pay off credit card bills in full each month
  • Don’t take out many large loans
  • Check your credit report and dispute any inaccuracies
  • Pay down as much existing debt as possible

Building your credit score can take years, and many people may need an auto loan sooner than they can rebuild low credit. In the short term, you can find good loan terms by comparing offers from multiple lenders and by having someone with strong credit cosign your loan.

To start comparing the best auto loans from multiple lenders, visit AutoCreditExpress.com.

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‘There is no new normal’: Worcester small business owner pivoted during COVID-19 and expects only more change after pandemic

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It took about eight minutes for the bank to reject Natalie Rodriguez’s application for a loan through the Small Business Administration.

Rodriguez opened Nuestra, a Puerto Rican inspired restaurant in Worcester, in January of 2020. When COVID-19 arrived months later she discovered Nuestra wasn’t eligible for the federal or state funding that thousands of other establishments received.

To qualify, restaurants were required to show payroll and salary for years before 2020. Those figures didn’t exist for a restaurant that weren’t open in 2019.

“[I was] determined and knew that ‘no’ is not an OK answer,” Rodriguez said. “A door may close but you may need to kick down another door.”

Rodriguez then applied for conventional loans only to be led to more closed doors. Less than 10 minutes after applying for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan, she received notice that her poor credit score resulted in her application being denied.

Rodriguez used the dead end with the SBA to create a new path for herself and Nuestra.

She not only learned how to improve her credit but wanted to ensure others didn’t have to follow her journey as an entrepreneur.

Rodriguez extended the “Nuestra” brand to include financial advising. She started Nuestra Financial in April of 2020.

“Now I’m helping others. I’ve been able to restore my credit,” Rodriguez said. “I’ve been able to help others restore their credit and be able to help them make a business themselves if they so choose. I’ve been able to survive.”

Without grants and other funding, Rodriguez managed to keep her restaurant open through funds generated from Nuestra Financial.

“I was very quiet about it in the beginning. I didn’t want people to be like, ‘Oh look at this girl, she just opened a restaurant in the middle of a pandemic,’ and talk smack,” Rodriguez said. “About a month or two later, a light bulb hit and I was like, nobody pays my bills but me. I needed to mind my own business and not worry about what other people thought.”

In creating Nuestra Financial, Rodriguez said she’s helped Worcester residents restore their credit and purchase new vehicles and homes.

Rodriguez said financial literacy is rarely taught to children in school and wasn’t something she learned. When a situation arises like a rejection notice for an economic disaster loan, many don’t know how to respond or where to find answers.

Rodriguez said she’s helped young and old people, along with those who have bad credit or no credit.

“We lack the confidence, including myself, because we weren’t taught,” Rodriguez said. “So if you don’t know something, you weren’t taught, you’re not going to be confident about it.”

Coming out of the pandemic, Rodriguez remains confident about both her businesses. Nuestra, the restaurant, while closed for daily service continues to provide catering services. Rodriguez is still preparing what the future holds for the restaurant but plans to announce an update soon.

As masks start to become less a part of daily routines, Rodriguez, as a small business owner, doesn’t envision many differences from this year to last.

So many aspects of life remain uncertain from rising food costs to a potential third booster for vaccines and whether the country will ever reach herd immunity for COVID-19.

The pandemic arrived with Rodriguez immediately pivoting. As it approaches its potential end, Rodriguez will continue to do what helped her to navigate it.

“I feel like there is no new normal just yet,” Rodriguez said. “I think we’re all just trying to adjust and pivot at the same time and getting creative. I think it’s where we all are.”

Related Content:

Owner of Worcester’s Nuestra restaurant, closing due to COVID impact, has something she’d like to say to Gov. Baker

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Columbus Mattress Wholesale moves to newer, larger Gahanna store

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More than four years back, Cathryn Clark’s boyfriend, Christopher Robbins, was on the hunt for a new mattress. He just couldn’t find one at an affordable  price. 

Clark, 29, and Robbins, 34, who are now engaged, were living in Franklinton, where they still live today.

They had no experience owning or operating a small business; Robbins worked as a retail assistant for SAS Retail Services while Clark worked as the communications director for two Methodist churches. 

But in 2017, Robbins, with Clark at his side, took the leap and opened Columbus Mattress Wholesale on the West Side, with the goal of  helping low-income consumers secure mattresses and other bedtime products.  

“We really wanted to bring a store to people that, you know, they weren’t paying an arm and leg, but they still could get a good night’s sleep,” Clark said.

Customers at Columbus Mattress Wholesale can pay cash or credit, for example, but the business also works with financing companies that serve people without credit scores, with bad credit or who are lower income. 

Last month, the business made a big move. It expanded from its original location on Harrisburg Pike to a store double the size at 435 Agler Road in Gahanna.

Clark said she and Robbins saw a need in the broader area, with many of their customers coming from outside the Hilltop, such as Linden.

Nestled between Dollar Tree and the Ohio BMV in Gahanna, the new storefront opened Memorial Day weekend and sells mattresses, bed bases, bed frames and pillows. Mattress prices range from under $100 to more than $1,000, depending on the size and brand, which includes some well-known names such as Serta, Beautyrest and Casper.

Clark said while she and Robbins originally sold solely Ohio-based brands, they’ve branched out to national brands as business has grown.

Columbus Mattress Wholesale also offers free same-day delivery on most orders from customers living in Columbus. 

Clark does a little bit of everything for the business, from running communications, to working on the sales floor, to managing the sales team, to ordering what they sell. 

She said a big mission for herself and Robbins, beyond doing business, is aiding the community.

“We’ve seen a lot of people struggle,” Clark said.

Clark said she and Robbins work to mentor other people who are hoping to open or currently own a small business. She added that the store starts employees at $17 per hour.

She and Robbins haven’t decided yet what they will do with the original location — which is currently closed — but said they might shift it into an accessory store.

[email protected]

@SarahEDon

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A Guide to Getting Mobile Deals with Bad Credit History

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You’re interested in a new mobile deal but there’s only one thing that’s stopping; you’ve got a bad credit history. Does that mean that your hopes of getting a new phone contract are crushed? Well, not exactly. In this article, you will learn how to get a mobile phone with no credit check required and how you can navigate the issue to get a great deal even with bad credit history.

Why is a bad credit history a big deal?

When taking a new phone contract, it means you’re entering into a financial agreement that requires you to make payments in monthly installments. As such, many providers of the service will want to ensure that they’re entering into an agreement with someone who will pay the agreed amount without violating the terms.

The best way for them to have that assurance is by looking into the credit history of the client. But does it necessarily mean that if you’ve got a bad credit history you can’t honor your side of the bargain in a phone contract? Of course not; which is why this article gives you the options you can pursue to end up landing a pretty impressive deal.

Although you might not find a deal that includes the latest devices in the market, you’ll not lack a relatively cheaper but functional option. For instance, if you’re a great fan of the iPhone, you might end up landing the iPhone XR instead of the latest release of iPhone 12. When the deal is cheaper, you stand higher chances of success as opposed to one that just dropped in the market and so it’s in high demand.

Another alternative is to find a contract that comes with a used handset as such tend to be less strict in terms of credit history requirements. That means you’re likely to pass the test of a contract with an already used gadget as opposed to that of a brand new phone.

Another alternative could be to go for SIM only deals especially if you already have an alternative source for a handset. Most of the providers won’t require you to sign any contract and so they’ll not look into your previous credit history. SIM only deals tend to be intensive on minutes, texts and data offers.

Networks that favor people with bad credit

There are networks that are more lenient to people with bad credit history than others. Major networks including Vodafone, O2 and EE usually come with strict requirements that might only frustrate you. The following are the alternatives you could consider looking into:

Smarty:The company offers SIM only plans that don’t require you to sign any contract. If you have an alternative handset, this could be a great alternative to consider as they won’t do a credit check on you. Their services and offers run on a monthly rolling basis which means you can walk away at any time in case you’re dissatisfied with the quality of service you’re getting. Their deals start at 2GB of data and unlimited texts and calls at a cost of £5 to unlimited calls, texts and data for £16.

Giffgaff:You won’t be subjected to a credit test here as well during sign up for one of the packages that the network offers. You’ll be required to sign up for a monthly bundle of your choice that’s inclusive of calls, data and texts. You can proceed with the same plan or switch to a new one after the month is gone. Most of their deals start at £8 a month.

VOXI:The network has numerous offers that operate on a 30-day rolling basis. They also won’t bother performing a credit check on you as it has no use in the first place. A bonus with this network is that they won’t include the social sites you frequent in their data charges.

Mobile phone to go with a SIM only deal

The SIM only deals we’ve highlighted above means that you’ll need to have a separate handset. In case you don’t have one already, you can take a separate mobile phone contract to go with your preferred SIM only deal. The other alternative is to buy one outright. But in case you don’t have money to make the purchase, you can always save up and buy when you’ve accumulated enough.

Some great smartphones that are classic and yet won’t put a huge wall in your pocket. Coveted brands such as iPhone and Samsung have great devices such as the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G that goes for £349 and the iPhone SE valued at £399. As you can see, with some savings, you should be able to get your hands on these gadgets and many others out there. And if you feel that these cost on the higher side, you can opt for refurbished phones. Refurbished phones refer to those handsets that have been used but have undergone intensive testing to ensure they still have got higher functionality.

When do credit checks apply?

Credit history is required by providers that have a mobile phone that requires a payment plan spanning several months or years. In most cases, the major network providers including EE, O2 and Vodafone will do a background check on your credit check before allowing you to sign up for their deals. Some factors that might make you have a poor credit rating is when you’ve missed several months’ payments, made late payments or placed too many credit applications concurrently.

Want to improve your credit rating?

The following are several steps you could consider to help you improve your credit rating. Most of these revolve around efficient management of your money, bills and other forms of payments.

  • Have a proper and functional bank account
  • Pay all your outgoing bills on or before the due dates
  • Ensure you’re registered on the electoral roll
  • Don’t share your account with a person with poor credit rating

That’s how you can work out things to get mobile deals even if your credit history isn’t a good one. But going forward, the best action plan would be to work towards improving your credit rating so that you can take advantage of the opportunities that come up in future.

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