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Low Auto Loans And Where To Find Them

Updated on May 21, 2009
Find low auto rates can be easy, you just need to know where to look
Find low auto rates can be easy, you just need to know where to look

Whether you're thinking about getting a loan for a new car, a used car or possibly even thinking about car loan refinancing to save yourself some money, finding the lowest possible interest rate auto loan is something that is worth spending some time on. A little bit of lender research at some of the new up-and-comers in the online loan marketplaces and offline at the traditional banks that you're used to working with will give you a good, overall feel for what types of low auto rates you can get locked into for your new loan. It also helps to look at a few financing calculators that are available for you to use for free online. They're probably not going to get you the rate that you're looking for, but once you do find some auto loan rates that you like you can plug them into these calculators to see what types of monthly payments you'll be looking at.

Of course, finding some of these places to research takes a little bit of time (which we never have enough of), but don't worry I've gone ahead and compiled a list of some of the most popular ones for you to check out so you can hit the ground running.

Your credit score is very important in determining your auto loan rate
Your credit score is very important in determining your auto loan rate

First Things First -- Your Credit Score

One thing that you should realize before you show searching for some really low interest rates is that the interest rate levels that you're given will depend heavily on your credit score, so if your credit score isn't very good, then you're probably going to have a real tough time finding something that's at the level you're happy with. Now, I'm not saying that it's impossible to get a good loan if you don't have perfect credit, but the lower your credit score, the harder it's going to be to wheel and deal yourself into a really good loan contract. There are people who finance and refinance car loans with bad credit, you'll just need to deal with other sub-prime and high-risk lenders that I don't mention below.

Where To Find Low Auto Rates Online

Since you're reading this online, I guess that I'll list out some of the online lenders that you can check for low auto rates. Dealing with online lenders is obviously quite a bit different than being able to work with say, a local bank, but don't be scared to test out the waters online. You never know who's going to be able to provide you with the best interest rate, so it's best to diversify where all you're looking.

Although most of the online credit lenders sites are somewhat similar, each one of them tends to ask you questions that are a little different from each other. For example, when you go to's auto loan section you're first asked what type of auto loan you're looking for (new, used, private party, refinance) and what your estimated credit score is (excellent, very good, good, fair, poor). After you make a selection and depending on your answer you're actually re-routed to an online lender that can can get you financed according to your credit score.

If you have great credit, then is probably a good online lender for you. When you arrive to their home page you're given their current rates for each type of loan and asked what type of auto loan you're looking for. It's very straight forward and a great place to look for some really low rates if you have good credit.

Another great online lender if you have a solid credit score is, who are actually one of the more popular online lenders on the web. I think that they actually have some TV commercials (if that tells you anything). LendingTree does more than just auto loans and when you get to their site you need to first choose the auto loan that you're looking at getting and pick the state that you currently live in. After that you'll be sent to the right place and it's all straightforward from there.

The auto-specific online lender claims to be the leader in online auto lending (over 3.5 million apps) and they specialize in connecting you to other online lenders that can get you financed according to your credit level. They have a an application that's easy to fill out and they claim to be so fast that you can be applying today and driving tomorrow, which is pretty nice. 

If you have bad credit, then might be the online lender for you. They specialize in financing both new and used auto loans for people with "less than perfect credit", so if you happen to fall into that category, then you now know where to go.

Where To Find Low Auto Rates From Traditional Lenders

When I say traditional, it sounds like I'm talking about something really old and stagnant, which I guess is partly true when it comes to your everyday bank that you're used to seeing on your local town's street corner. The online lenders that I just mentioned are only available because of the power of the Internet, but these old-school and time-tested banks sometimes make you feel better when you're paying them for their money. Also, even though these are older, more established banks, that doesn't mean that they don't have an online presence, too. Their websites just seem to be a little more clunky that that of the regular online lenders and they don't always post their current interest rates, which makes it hard to find the low auto rates that you're looking for. I guess that if all else failed you could actually give them a phone call (*gasp*).

Wells Fargo has an auto loan section online that feels a little outdated, but I'm sure that they're done a few auto loans in their day. Also, they seem to have a focus on auto loan refinancing, which requires you to call a toll-free number to find out more information.

One thing that I thought was cool about the Chase website was that they allowed you to check their daily APR (Annual Percentage Rate) so that you can see what types of rates they're offering. Chase also gives 48, 60 and 72 month financing, but the longer the term the harder is it to get a low auto loan interest rate.

After you type in your zip code into the auto loan section of the Bank Of America's website you're taken to a page that has all kinds of great information about the loan options that they offer - well, besides the actual APR interest rates, that is. It seems like a lot more of the online lenders had the current APR available at all times, which makes me wonder why the banks don't do it, too.

I was happily surprised when I opened up Capital One's auto-specific finance section that actually listed out all of the current APRs for the current day, which is very helpful when finding the lowest auto loans that you can get your hands on. Out of all of the traditional bank's websites I found this one to be the most helpful by far.


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