Ally Auto Refinance: 2023 Review

Ally Auto Refinance offers pre-qualified rate estimates for auto refinance loans using a soft credit check.
By Shannon Bradley 

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Our Take

The bottom line:

Best for borrowers wanting an easy online application process and the ability to see pre-qualified offers without affecting their credit scores.

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Learn more

on Ally's website

Pros & Cons


  • 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.

  • Borrowers can choose loan payment due date.


  • No rate discount offered.

  • 24-month loan term not offered.

  • Has vehicle restrictions.

Compare to Other Lenders

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Full Review

Ally Auto Refinance, part of Ally Financial Inc., is a direct lender that offers loans for refinancing your existing auto loan as well as buying out your leased vehicle.

Ally has an easy application process that’s 100% online. Applicants are able to receive pre-qualified offers based on a soft credit check, which won’t affect their credit scores. Unlike some lenders, Ally does not require a Social Security number with the initial application.

The pre-qualified offers show several different options for loan terms and the resulting rate and monthly payment. After an applicant selects a loan offer, Ally will run a hard credit inquiry and request additional information, such as Social Security number. A hard credit inquiry slightly lowers your credit score, but only temporarily.

Pre-qualified loan offers aren’t a guarantee of approval and can change after a hard credit inquiry. If the information initially submitted was accurate though, the pre-qualification offer shouldn’t change significantly and can help with faster approval. Ally says most approval decisions are immediate, with the remainder usually provided in less than 30 minutes.

Ally Auto Refinance may be a good fit for those who:

  • Want to compare rates. Pre-qualification with a soft credit check will not affect an applicant's credit score.

  • Have fair credit. Ally has a lower minimum credit score requirement than many other lenders. Also, co-borrowers are accepted, which can help a person who might not qualify alone.

  • Prefer an online application process. Ally's application is simple and 100% online, including document upload.

Ally Auto Refinance at a glance

Application process
  • Origination fee: None.

  • Personal information needed to pre-qualify: Vehicle VIN or license plate number or vehicle year, make and model. Also address, time at address, phone, email, birthdate, employment status, employer name, housing status, housing payment amount. Social Security number not required until applicant proceeds with loan.

  • Pre-qualification available: Yes, borrowers can pre-qualify with a soft credit check. After approval, offers are good for 30 days.

  • Online, in-person or both: Process is 100% online, including document upload.

  • Approval speed: The majority of auto loan decisions are immediate, with the rest generally under 30 minutes.

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 520.

  • Minimum credit history: None.

  • Minimum annual gross income: $24,000.

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

  • Bankruptcy restrictions: Has bankruptcy restrictions but did not disclose details.

  • States covered: Not available in NV, VT. Also not available in Washington, D.C.

  • Maximum vehicle age: 10 model years.

  • Maximum vehicle mileage: 121,001.

  • Other vehicle restrictions: Does not refinance commercial vehicles, many electric vehicles and brands no longer being manufactured. Make restrictions: Coda, Fisker, Isuzu, Suzuki, AMC, Consuliar, Triumph, Yugo, Hummer, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Chevrolet Commercial, Dodge Commercial, Ford Commercial, GMC Medium Duty, Mercedes-Benz Commercial. Model restrictions: e-tron, e-tron GT, e-tron Sportsback, RS e-tron GT, i3 Series, ELR, Bolt, Spark EV, Volt, Pacifica Hybrid, 500e, Focus Electric, Mustang Mach-E, Ioniq, Kona EV, I-Pace, Niro EV, Soul EV, B-Class, B Class, Cooper SE, i-MiEV, Outlander PHEV, LEAF 2, Polestar 2,Taycan, Fortwo Electric drive, RAV4 EV, e-Golf, XC40.5500, 4500 Chassis Cab, 4500 LCF Gas, 4500HD LCF Diesel, 4500XD LCF Diesel, 5500 Chassis Cab, 5500HD LCF Diesel, 5500XD LCF Diesel, 6500XD LCF Diesel, Express Cargo Van, Express Commercial Cutaway, Express Passenger, F-150 Police Responder, F450, F-53 Motorhome Stripped Chassis, F550, F-59 Commercial Stripped Chassis, F600, G3500 Van, High Cube Van, Medium Duty Cargo Van, Police Responder Hybrid Sedan, Police Responder Utility, ProMaster, Promaster Cargo Van, Promaster Chassis Cab, ProMaster City, Promaster City Cargo Van, Promaster City Wagon, Promaster Cutaway, Promaster Window Van, Savana Cargo Van, Savana Commercial Cutaway, Savana Passenger, Sprinter, Sprinter Cab Chassis, Sprinter Cargo Van, Sprinter Crew Van, Sprinter Passenger Van, Super Duty F-450 DRW, Super Duty F-550 DRW, Super Duty F-600 DRW, Transit 150, Transit Cargo Van, Transit Chassis, Transit Commercial Vans, Transit Connect, Transit Connect Van, Transit Connect Wagon, Transit Crew Van, Transit Cutaway, Transit Passenger Wagon.

  • Loan amount minimum: $7,500.

  • Loan amount maximum: $99,999.

  • Maximum loan-to-value ratio: 150%.

  • Refinancing restrictions: Will refinance after borrower has had current loan for at least seven months. Must have at least a $5000 balance remaining on the current loan. In Massachusetts, Ohio and Oklahoma must have $7,500 remaining.

  • Loan terms: 36-75 months.

  • Rate discount: None.

  • Greater-than-minimum payments: Accepted and can be made by automatic payment. Information about how surplus is applied was not provided.

  • Bi-weekly payments: Accepted but can’t be made by automatic payment.

  • Late payment fee: Yes, amount varies based on state requirements.

  • Prepayment penalty: None.

  • Co-applicants allowed: Allows co-borrowers but not co-signers. Co-applicants can complete the application at the same time.

  • Payment options: Mailed-in check, phone, mobile app, online banking or portal, ACH (electronic bank-to-bank).

  • Selected payment due date: Yes, borrowers can contact the servicing department after signing the loan agreement to select a due date.

  • Hardship plans: Yes, offers options such as deferring a certain number of payments and extending the loan term.

  • Offers cash-out refinancing: Not offered.

  • Existing loan payoff: Funds are mailed directly to the previous lender.

  • Assistance provided: Offers customer support throughout the loan process and retains servicing of the loan.

  • Availability: Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-6 p.m. PT.

  • Contact options: Phone, email. For customers, secure online portal.

More from Ally Auto Refinance

In most states, Ally also offers Guaranteed Asset Protection or GAP insurance and vehicle service contracts that help cover repair costs no longer covered by a factory warranty. The cost of these products can be rolled into the refinancing loan.

While the Ally website does not provide a lot of information, it does offer a frequently asked questions section that answers questions about the application process, eligibility, pre-qualification, approval and vehicle details.

Many lenders quantify how much money they save customers, and Ally says it saves clients an average of $122 monthly in car payments. NerdWallet is unable to verify these claims.

Ally auto loan rates

Credit requirements vary by auto lender, but the lowest rates are typically available only to borrowers with good or excellent credit (a FICO score of 670 and above). With fair or bad credit you won’t get the lowest interest rates, which means your monthly payment and total interest paid will be more. You can check your credit score before applying for a car loan.

Loan example: According to NerdWallet's auto loan calculator that uses the VantageScore credit model, a borrower with a credit score of 300-499 (considered deep subprime), a $20,000 used car loan, repayment term of 72 months, interest rate of 18% APR and $0 down payment would have monthly payments of $456. One year later, if all payments were made on time, the borrower will have paid the loan down to a balance of $17,963. If the borrower is able to then refinance at 12% APR for the remaining 60 months, the payment would drop to $399 and result in interest savings of $3,394 over the life of the loan.

To review Ally Auto Refinance, NerdWallet sent a survey to Ally requesting more than 60 data points and followed up with company representatives. This information was compared with other lenders that seek the same customer or offer a similar product.

Learn more

on Ally's website

Frequently asked questions