BEST OF

Top Lenders to Refinance a Car Loan in 2022

What does it mean to refinance an auto loan, and where is the best place to apply?

May 11, 2022

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When you refinance a car loan, you replace your current auto loan with one that lowers your interest rate, reduces your monthly payment or cuts the total amount you pay for a car — or possibly all three.

Whether you qualify to refinance and the auto refinance rate you receive depends on many factors, such as your credit history and credit scores. Requirements vary by lender, so shopping around for the best place to refinance your car loan is a good first step.

Top Lenders to Refinance a Car Loan in 2022

RefiJet
Learn more

on RefiJet's website

RefiJet - Refinance loan

RefiJet

Est. APR

1.99-17.99%

Loan amount

$5,000-$100,000

Min. credit score

500
Learn more

on RefiJet's website


Min. credit score

500

Key facts

Best for applicants wanting a loan representative’s help with the refinancing process from beginning to end. Applicants with bad or fair credit may qualify.

Pros

  • Offers pre-qualification with a soft credit check.

  • Some network lenders offer rate discounts with automatic payment.

  • Customer service available on Saturday.

  • Provides Spanish version of website.

Cons

  • Charges an origination fee of $395.

  • Not available in a few states.

  • Fully online application not available for applicants who prefer it.

Qualifications

  • Minimum annual gross income: No minimum.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 70%.

  • No open or discharged bankruptcies in last 12 months.

  • Maximum mileage: 150,000.

  • Maximum loan to value ratio: 160%.

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LendingClub
Learn more

on LendingClub's website

LendingClub - Refinance loan

LendingClub

Est. APR

1.99-24.99%

Loan amount

$4,000-$55,000

Min. credit score

510
Learn more

on LendingClub's website


Min. credit score

510

Key facts

Best for applicants wanting to see auto loan refinancing offers without affecting their credit score. Bad- or fair-credit borrowers may qualify.

Pros

  • Applicants can pre-qualify with a soft credit check.

  • Application process 100% online including document upload.

  • Social Security number not required to pre-qualify.

  • Charges no origination fee.

  • Borrowers can choose loan payment due date.

Cons

  • Not available in all states.

  • Has some vehicle restrictions.

  • Maximum refinance amount lower than other lenders.

Qualifications

  • Minimum annual gross income: None.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 80%.

  • Bankruptcy restrictions: Bankruptcy must be more than 12 months ago.

  • Maximum mileage: 120,000.

  • Maximum loan to value ratio: 165%.

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RateGenius
Learn more

on RateGenius's website

RateGenius - Refinance loan

RateGenius

Est. APR

1.75-21.00%

Loan amount

$12,000-$100,000

Min. credit score

500
Learn more

on RateGenius's website


Min. credit score

500

Key facts

Best for applicants looking for auto loan refinancing tools, an easy-to-use online application and multiple refinancing offers. Bad- or fair-credit borrowers may qualify.

Pros

  • Offers pre-qualification with a soft credit check.

  • Provides average daily rates by credit score on website.

  • Customer service available on Saturday.

  • Some network lenders offer rate discount with automatic payment.

Cons

  • May charge an origination fee up to $395.

  • Minimum loan amount is higher than other lenders.

Qualifications

  • Minimum annual gross income: $24,000.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 65%.

  • No open bankruptcies. Most lenders will review dismissed or discharged bankruptcies.

  • Maximum mileage: 100,000.

  • Maximum loan to value ratio: 150%.

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Ally Clearlane
Learn more

on Ally Clearlane's website

Ally Clearlane - Refinance loan

Ally Clearlane

Est. APR

4.49-17.49%

Loan amount

$5,000-$99,999

Min. credit score

520
Learn more

on Ally Clearlane's website


Min. credit score

520

Key facts

Best for refinance applicants with fair or good credit who want to quickly compare offers.

Pros

  • Applicants can pre-qualify with a soft credit check.

  • Application process 100% online including document upload.

  • Social Security number not required to see pre-qualified offers.

  • Customer service available on Saturday.

  • Borrowers can choose loan payment due date.

Cons

  • Loan funding takes two days or more, longer than other lenders.

  • No rate discount offered.

  • 24-month loan term not offered.

  • Has vehicle restrictions.

Qualifications

  • Minimum annual gross income: $24,000.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Did not disclose.

  • Bankruptcy restrictions: None.

  • Maximum mileage: 121,001 miles.

  • Maximum loan to value ratio: 160%.

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Tresl
Learn more

on Tresl's website

Tresl - Refinance loan

Tresl

Est. APR

1.49-17.99%

Loan amount

$5,000-$100,000

Min. credit score

580
Learn more

on Tresl's website


Min. credit score

580

Key facts

Best for bad- or fair-credit refinance applicants looking for hands-on help with vehicle transfer paperwork.

Pros

  • Applicants can prequalify with a soft credit check.

  • Application process 100% online including document upload.

  • Minimum loan amount is lower than other lenders.

Cons

  • Borrower unable to choose loan payment date in most cases.

  • Some partner lenders charge application fee.

  • 24-month loan term not offered.

Qualifications

  • Minimum annual gross income: $18,000.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 55%.

  • No open bankruptcies.

  • Maximum mileage: 150,000.

  • Maximum loan to value ratio: 150%.

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Upstart
Learn more

on Upstart's website

Upstart - Refinance loan

Upstart

Est. APR

2.25-29.99%

Loan amount

$9,000-$60,000

Min. credit score

510
Learn more

on Upstart's website


Min. credit score

510

Key facts

Best for applicants wanting end-to-end assistance with refinancing their auto loan - including the application process and title transfer.

Pros

  • Offers pre-qualification with a soft credit check.

  • Works with a network of lenders to find the best offer.

  • Bases loan approval on a wider range of criteria.

  • Customer service available seven days a week.

  • Provides Spanish version of website.

Cons

  • Not available in all states.

  • Maximum loan amount is lower than other lenders.

Qualifications

  • Minimum annual gross income: $12,000.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Did not disclose.

  • No bankruptcy-related restrictions.

  • Maximum mileage: 140,000.

  • Maximum loan to value ratio: 185%.

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Consumers Credit Union
Learn more

on Consumers Credit Union's website

Consumers Credit Union - Refinance loan

Consumers Credit Union

Est. APR

2.74-21.24%

Loan amount

$7,500-No max.

Min. credit score

620
Learn more

on Consumers Credit Union's website


Min. credit score

620

Key facts

Best for refinance applicants who want flexible loan terms and like the services offered by a credit union.

Pros

  • No vehicle restrictions.

  • Takes applications online, by phone, in branches.

  • Offers rate discount with automatic payment.

  • Credit union obtains loan payoff amount from previous lender.

  • Sends payoff directly to the previous lender.

  • Allows co-signers.

Cons

  • Credit union membership required to get a loan.

Qualifications

  • Minimum annual gross income: None.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Did not disclose.

  • Bankruptcy restrictions: No open bankruptcies.

  • Maximum mileage: None.

  • Maximum loan to value ratio: 125%.

Read Full Review
Autopay
Learn more

on Autopay's website

Autopay - Refinance loan

Autopay

Est. APR

1.99-17.99%

Loan amount

$2,500-$100,000

Min. credit score

560
Learn more

on Autopay's website


Min. credit score

560

Key facts

Best for refinance applicants with fair credit who want to quickly compare offers.

Pros

  • Offers pre-qualification with a soft credit check.

  • Some network lenders offer rate discount with automatic payment.

  • Borrower can choose loan payment date.

  • Allows co-signers.

  • Customer service available on Saturday.

Cons

  • Loan approval takes 24-48 hours, longer than other lenders.

  • Loan funding can take 1-2 weeks, longer than other lenders.

  • May charge an origination fee. Amount not provided.

Qualifications

  • Minimum annual gross income: Varies by lender.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 50%.

  • Bankruptcy restrictions: Varies by lender.

  • Maximum mileage: 150,000.

  • Maximum loan to value ratio: 160%.

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LightStream
Learn more

on LightStream's website

LightStream - Refinance loan

LightStream

Est. APR

5.49-10.99%

Loan amount

$5,000-$100,000

Min. credit score

660
Learn more

on LightStream's website


Min. credit score

660

Key facts

Best for refinance applicants with good credit looking for a no-hassle loan from a well-known bank.

Pros

  • Competitive rates compared to similar lenders.

  • Offers rate discount with automatic payment.

  • Has a loan experience satisfaction guarantee.

  • No origination or late fees.

  • Available in all 50 states.

  • No vehicle restrictions.

Cons

  • Hard credit inquiry required.

  • High minimum credit score required.

Qualifications

  • Minimum annual gross income: None.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Did not disclose.

  • Bankruptcy restrictions: Yes. Details not disclosed.

  • Maximum mileage: None.

  • Maximum loan to value ratio: None.

Read Full Review
MyAutoloan
Learn more

on MyAutoloan's website

MyAutoloan - Refinance loan

MyAutoloan

Est. APR

1.99-21.99%

Loan amount

$5,000-$100,000

Min. credit score

575
Learn more

on MyAutoloan's website


Min. credit score

575

Key facts

Best for fair-credit refinance applicants and getting quotes from multiple lenders.

Pros

  • Applicants can receive up to four lender matches with a soft credit check.

  • Most lenders can provide approval within 30 seconds of application submission.

  • Provides lowest daily rates on site, including auto refinance loans.

  • Funds to pay off previous lender usually available within 24 hours.

  • Allows co-signers.

Cons

  • May result in multiple contacts from different lenders.

  • Social Security number required to submit initial application.

  • myAutoloan.com offers limited customer service support.

  • Not available in a few states.

Qualifications

  • Minimum annual gross income: $21,600.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Not provided.

  • Bankruptcy-related restrictions: Bankruptcy must be discharged or dismissed.

  • Maximum mileage: 125,000.

  • Maximum loan to value ratio: Not provided.

Read Full Review
OpenRoad
Learn more

on OpenRoad's website

OpenRoad - Refinance loan

OpenRoad

Est. APR

2.49-24.00%

Loan amount

$10,000-$75,000

Min. credit score

500
Learn more

on OpenRoad's website


Min. credit score

500

Key facts

Best for applicants of all credit types looking to refinance their current auto loan with the assistance of auto refinancing experts. Bad- and fair-credit borrowers may qualify.

Pros

  • Borrowers work with loan care agents who receive extensive training in auto refinancing.

  • Applicants typically receive preapproved offer (or decline) in five minutes or less.

  • Applicants have the option to apply by phone or online.

  • Website provides accessibility tools.

Cons

  • May charge an origination fee up to $199.

  • Social Security number required to submit initial application.

  • Not available in some states.

Qualifications

  • Minimum monthly income: $1,500.

  • Maximum vehicle age: 8 years.

  • Maximum mileage: 140,000.

  • Maximum loan to value ratio: Did not answer.

Read Full Review

PenFed Credit Union - Refinance loan

PenFed Credit Union

Est. APR

1.79-17.99%

Loan amount

$500-$100,000

Min. credit score

Did not disclose

Min. credit score

Did not disclose

Key facts

Best for applicants wanting fast, preapproved offers to determine if they would benefit from refinancing.

Pros

  • Minimum loan amount is lower than other lenders.

  • Customer service available seven days a week.

  • Provides up to six offers with various rates and terms using a soft credit check.

  • Application process can be 100% online.

Cons

  • Credit union membership required to get a loan.

  • Social Security number required with initial application.

Qualifications

  • Minimum annual gross income: None.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Did not disclose.

  • Bankruptcy restrictions: Did not disclose.

  • Maximum mileage: 125,000.

  • Maximum loan to value ratio: 125%.

Read Full Review

Bank of America - Refinance loan

BankofAmerica

Est. APR

N/A

Loan amount

$7,500-Max. not disclosed

Min. credit score

Did not disclose

Min. credit score

Did not disclose

Key facts

Best for applicants wanting to refinance their auto loan and who qualify for a Bank of America Preferred Rewards rate discount.

Pros

  • Apply online, by phone or in a financial center.

  • Offers rate discount for customers with qualifying account relationship.

  • Usually provides loan decision within 60 seconds of application submission.

  • Will refinance existing Bank of America auto loans.

  • Provides Spanish version of website.

Cons

  • Social Security number required to submit initial application.

  • Rate discount available only with deposit balances of $20,000-plus.

  • Minimum loan amount is higher than other lenders.

Qualifications

  • Minimum annual gross income: Did not disclose.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Did not disclose.

  • Bankruptcy restrictions: Did not disclose.

  • Maximum mileage: 125,000.

  • Maximum loan to value ratio: Did not disclose.

Read Full Review

Caribou - Refinance loan

Caribou

Est. APR

1.25-21.24%

Loan amount

$10,000-$175,000

Min. credit score

500

Min. credit score

500

Key facts

Best for applicants wanting to receive multiple pre-qualified auto refinancing offers.

Pros

  • Applicants can pre-qualify with a soft credit check.

  • Application process 100% online including document upload.

  • Social Security number not required to see pre-qualified offers.

  • Works with a network of lenders to show multiple offers.

Cons

  • Lenders may charge a processing fee up to $399.

  • Not available in all states.

  • Customer support not available on weekends.

Qualifications

  • Minimum annual gross income: Has minimum. Amount not disclosed.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 60%.

  • Bankruptcy restrictions: Has restrictions. Details not disclosed.

  • Maximum mileage: 125,000 miles gas/175,000 diesel.

  • Maximum loan to value ratio: 145%.

Read Full Review

Digital Federal Credit Union - Refinance loan

DigitalFederalCreditUnion

Est. APR

1.99-11.24%

Loan amount

$2,500-$500,000

Min. credit score

Did not disclose

Min. credit score

Did not disclose

Key facts

Best for applicants wanting a simple, fast application process to refinance their car.

Pros

  • Offers rate estimates through website using a soft credit check.

  • Offers shorter term loans.

  • Has a 24-hour access consumer loan call center.

  • Application process can be 100% online.

  • Offers two opportunities for discounts on already low rates.

  • Will refinance existing DCU auto loans.

  • Allows co-signers.

Cons

  • Credit union membership required to get a loan.

  • Social Security number required with initial application.

Qualifications

  • Minimum annual gross income: None.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 60%.

  • Bankruptcy restrictions: No bankruptcies in the previous 12 months.

  • Maximum mileage: 250,000.

  • Maximum loan to value ratio: 135%.

Read Full Review

What happens when you refinance a car loan?

The process to refinance an auto loan is simple. You apply for an auto refinance 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.

Should you refinance your auto loan?

Borrowers refinance car loans for different reasons. They may need to remove a co-borrower from an existing auto loan. Or they may want to shorten the loan term to pay it off sooner. Two of the most common reasons for refinancing a car are to reduce expenses and save money.

Refinancing your car loan makes sense:

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 these lower rates.

NerdWallet’s auto loan refinance calculator can help you compare loans and rates to determine how much you could save with refinancing.

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 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. But most will not refinance their own auto loans.

Online loan marketplaces that work with a network of refinancing lenders are another option, and some specialize in auto loan refinancing. 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 your auto loan can be difficult if you have bad credit, 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 a car 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 May 11, 2022

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Top Lenders to Refinance a Car Loan in 2022

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