Best of

Top Auto Loan Refinancing Lenders

What is auto loan refinancing, and where is the best place to apply?

Last updated on July 17, 2024
Written by 
Julie Myhre-Nunes
Edited by 
Fact Checked
Assigning Editor
Fact Checked
NerdWallet
Written by 
Julie Myhre-Nunes
Edited by 
Fact Checked
Assigning Editor
Fact Checked

Many, or all, of the products featured on this page are from our advertising partners who compensate us when you take certain actions on our website or click to take an action on their website. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

  • 45+ auto loan products reviewed and rated by our team of experts.
  • 30+ years of combined experience covering financial topics.
  • Objective, comprehensive star rating system assessing 4 categories and 60+ data points across direct lenders and aggregators.
  • Governed by NerdWallet's strict guidelines for editorial integrity.
NerdWallet's auto loans content, including articles, reviews and recommendations, is produced by a team of writers and editors who specialize in consumer lending. Their work has appeared in Nasdaq, MSN, MarketWatch, Yahoo! Finance and other national and regional media outlets. They have also appeared on NerdWallet's "Smart Money" podcast.

Top Auto Loan Refinancing Lenders

Lender
NerdWallet Rating
Est. APR
Loan amount
Min. credit score
Learn more
RefiJet

RefiJet - Refinance loan

Learn more
on RefiJet's website
on RefiJet's website
View details
Best for Refinancing through loan aggregators

5.29-21.99%

$5,000-$150,000

500

Learn more
on RefiJet's website
on RefiJet's website
MyAutoloan

MyAutoloan - Refinance loan

4.5
/5
Best for Refinancing through loan aggregators

5.49-29.90%

$5,000-$100,000

400

Gravity Lending - Refinance loan

Gravity Lending - Refinance loan

4.5
/5
Best for Refinancing through loan aggregators

4.99-17.99%

$3,000-$250,000

500

Caribou

Caribou - Refinance loan

4.0
/5
Best for Refinancing through loan aggregators

5.99-28.55%

$10,000-$125,000

580

Consumers Credit Union

Consumers Credit Union - Refinance loan

5.0
/5
Best for Refinancing with direct lenders

6.24-17.54%

No min.-$100,000

600

Our pick for

Refinancing through loan aggregators

Aggregators connect prospective borrowers with a network of auto lenders, usually resulting in more than one loan offer. We evaluate them using different criteria than direct lenders.

RefiJet
Learn more
on RefiJet's website
on RefiJet's website
RefiJet

RefiJet - Refinance loan

5.0
Est. APR

5.29-21.99%

Loan amount

$5,000-$150,000

Min. credit score

500

MyAutoloan

MyAutoloan - Refinance loan

4.5
Est. APR

5.49-29.90%

Loan amount

$5,000-$100,000

Min. credit score

400

Gravity Lending - Refinance loan

Gravity Lending - Refinance loan

Est. APR

4.99-17.99%

Loan amount

$3,000-$250,000

Min. credit score

500

Caribou

Caribou - Refinance loan

Est. APR

5.99-28.55%

Loan amount

$10,000-$125,000

Min. credit score

580

RateGenius

RateGenius - Refinance loan

Est. APR

4.67-21.00%

Loan amount

$8,000-$150,000

Min. credit score

580

Auto Approve – Refinance loan

Auto Approve – Refinance loan

Est. APR

6.24-24.99%

Loan amount

$10,000-$150,000

Min. credit score

560

iLending

iLending - Refinance loan

Est. APR

5.49-18.79%

Loan amount

$5,000-$150,000

Min. credit score

560

OpenRoad

OpenRoad - Refinance loan

Est. APR

6.49-29.00%

Loan amount

$8,000-$100,000

Min. credit score

480

Tresl

Tresl - Refinance loan

Est. APR

4.67-21.00%

Loan amount

$8,000-$150,000

Min. credit score

580

Autopay

Autopay - Refinance loan

Est. APR

4.67-21.00%

Loan amount

$8,000-$150,000

Min. credit score

580

Upstart

Upstart - Refinance loan

Est. APR

8.48-29.99%

Loan amount

$9,000-$60,000

Min. credit score

None

Our pick for

Refinancing with direct lenders

Direct lenders are banks, credit unions and other companies that work directly with a borrower to make and service loans. We evaluate them using different criteria than aggregators.

Consumers Credit Union

Consumers Credit Union - Refinance loan

Est. APR

6.24-17.54%

Loan amount

No min.-$100,000

Min. credit score

600

LendingClub

LendingClub - Refinance loan

Est. APR

5.99-24.99%

Loan amount

$4,000-$55,000

Min. credit score

660

LightStream

LightStream - Refinance loan

Est. APR

7.99-15.94%

Loan amount

$5,000-$100,000

Min. credit score

660

Ally

Ally - Refinance loan

Est. APR

8.29-23.49%

Loan amount

$7,500-$99,999

Min. credit score

520

Want to compare more options? Here are our other top picks:

  • Alliant Credit Union – Refinance loan
  • PenFed Credit Union - Refinance loan
  • Digital Federal Credit Union - Refinance loan
  • Navy Federal Credit Union - Refinance loan

Should you refinance your car loan?

Borrowers refinance auto loans for different reasons, and you most likely have a specific goal in mind. You may want to refinance to a lower interest rate to save money or shorten your loan term to pay it off sooner.

If you're having trouble making your monthly car payment, you might want to extend the loan term to lower the payment. But be aware that this can result in paying more interest over the life of the loan.

An auto loan refinance calculator can help you try out different rate, term and payment scenarios.

» Try our auto loan refinance calculator

When does it make sense to refinance a car loan?

If your credit has improved. If you’ve made consistent, on-time payments for six to 12 months since getting your car loan, and the lender has been reporting these payments to the credit bureaus, you might now qualify for a lower interest rate.

If a car dealer marked up your interest rate. When you got your original loan, the car dealer might have charged you a higher interest rate than you could have qualified for elsewhere — or can still qualify for with refinancing.

If you can’t keep up with payments. Refinancing to extend the length of the loan can lower your car payments, but don’t take this step lightly. Extending the loan term means you will pay more interest and more in total over the life of the loan, but that’s still a better option than missing payments or facing repossession.

If interest rates drop. If auto loan rates in general fall lower than when you first got your car loan, refinancing could be an opportunity to take advantage of lower auto refinance rates.

Another reason for refinancing a car is to remove a co-borrower from an existing auto loan.

Want to refinance your auto loan? See if you pre-qualify.

Just answer a few questions to get personalized results from our lending partners.
on NerdWallet

What happens when you refinance a car loan?

The process to refinance an auto loan is simple. You apply for an auto refinance loan, or auto refi loan, just as you would any other type of auto loan. Typically, you will have to apply with a new lender, because few lenders will refinance their own loans.

You will be able to choose the term for the new loan. This can be the same as the number of months remaining on your current loan, or you can shorten or extend it. Terms available from auto refinancing lenders vary, but a range of 24 to 84 months is the most common.

Extending the length of your car loan when you refinance will lower your monthly payments, but you will pay more interest over the life of your loan. It can also put you at risk of owing more than your car is worth, which is called being upside-down on your auto loan.

When you’re approved for an auto refinance loan, it provides funds to pay off and replace your current vehicle loan. In most cases, your refinance lender will take care of paying off your current loan. You then start making monthly, and hopefully lower, payments on the new loan.

The final step when refinancing is having a new car title issued to replace the lienholder (lender that has your loan) with the new lender. Many lenders will handle the title transfer for you. In some states, you may also need to re-register the car.

Refinancing may lower your credit scores if the lender uses a hard credit inquiry, but the drop is temporary and won’t have a long-term effect on your credit.

When is the best time to refinance a car loan?

Some lenders will refinance an auto loan as soon as you can provide information about your existing loan and lender. If you settled for an extremely high auto loan rate to escape a dealership, and you have good credit (FICO score of 690 and up), then refinancing to a lower rate as soon as possible may be a good idea.

On the other hand, if your blemished credit history resulted in a high auto loan APR, you might wait six to 12 months and keep paying on your existing loan. You generally need a history of six to 12 months of on-time payments, with no new negative items on your credit report, to make auto refinancing worthwhile or even possible with some lenders.

Who are the best auto loan refinance lenders?

The best auto refinancing lender for you may be different than the “best” for someone else. The higher your credit scores and the stronger your credit history, the more lender choices you will have with lower auto loan refinancing rates.

Nearly all banks and credit unions, known as direct lenders, offer auto loan refinancing. Your current bank or credit union might be a good place to start — especially if they offer a rate reduction for automatic payments.

Online loan marketplaces that work with a network of refinancing lenders are another option, and some specialize in refinancing auto loans. They provide the convenience of applying to many lenders with one loan application, but this can also lead to receiving calls, texts and emails from multiple lenders.

Lenders have different limits for car mileage and age, as well as the minimum amount a person can borrow, so make sure your needs fit within a lender’s requirements before you apply.

Applying to several auto refinance lenders and comparing offers give you the best chance of finding the lowest-rate loan with the shortest term. Make sure all applications are within a two-week window, so any hard credit inquiries are counted as one and have less effect on your credit scores.

Can you refinance a car loan with bad credit?

Refinancing an auto loan when you have bad credit can be difficult, but it might still be possible. Some lenders have minimum credit score requirements as low as 500. NerdWallet’s reviews of auto loan refinancing lenders show the minimum credit score for most.

But if your bad credit hasn't improved since getting your original loan, you will most likely have trouble finding a lender willing to refinance to a lower rate.

If you’re having trouble making car payments, talk to your current lender right away (before missing any payments). Some lenders have options to assist you that don’t require refinancing.

Can you get money back when you refinance an auto loan?

If your car is worth substantially more than you owe on it, some lenders allow what is known as cash-out auto refinancing. You borrow more than you owe on your current loan, pay off that lender and take the remainder in cash.

Interest rates for cash-out refinancing may be lower than those on a credit card or personal loan because the loan is secured by your car. But overborrowing against your car comes with risks. If your car is totaled or you eventually want to sell it, you might not receive enough from insurance or the buyer to pay off your loan balance. You would then be responsible for paying the remainder of the loan.

Last updated on July 17, 2024

Methodology

NerdWallet's review process surveys companies that offer any combination of new car purchase loans, used car purchase loans, auto refinance loans (traditional and/or cash-out) and lease buyout loans. These companies include direct lenders and aggregators; the latter group doesn't have in-house loan products but matches borrowers to third-party lenders within a network. Our aim is to provide an independent assessment of providers to help arm you with information to make sound, informed judgements on which ones will best meet your needs. We adhere to strict guidelines for editorial integrity.

Our survey for direct lenders has different questions than the survey for aggregators, but each includes more than 60 data points. NerdWallet independently confirms product details and, when necessary, follows up with company representatives. At least two writers and an editor verify the facts for every lender review to ensure data are accurate.

To receive a star rating, a provider must respond to NerdWallet’s annual auto loans survey. Star ratings are then assessed from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars).

For more details about the categories considered and our processes, read our full methodology for rating direct lenders and our full methodology for rating aggregators.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Top Auto Loan Refinancing Lenders

Frequently asked questions

  • Most auto loans carry no prepayment penalty, so you most likely won't have any fees associated with ending your original loan. Some lenders do have application fees, so ask your auto refinancing lender about that. Also, some states require you to re-register the vehicle, so you could have registration or title transfer fees. Ask your local DMV about the requirements and costs in your state.

  • When you finance a car, whether you're buying or refinancing, the vehicle is collateral for the loan. Some lenders want a loan to be fully secured and won't provide a loan for more than 100% of the car's value. This is called the “loan-to-value” ratio or LTV. Other lenders make loans for more than 100% LTV, but usually only if the borrower has good credit. If you can refinance your upside-down car loan, it may be a way to get right-side up faster.

  • The process of refinancing a car loan is simple and straightforward. You apply for an auto refinance loan just as you would any other type of auto loan. Many lenders have online applications for auto loan refinancing, and some promise a loan decision in minutes.

    If you have poor credit, you may have more difficulty finding a lender willing to refinance your car loan. Also, some lenders require that you pay on an auto loan for several months before they will refinance it.

  • Most lenders will not refinance their own loans, so in most cases you will need to refinance your car with a different lender. There are some exceptions though. For example, Bank of America says it will refinance existing auto loans, so you should ask your current lender about its refinancing policies.

NerdWallet Pixel