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Best Car Loans Of 2017

Best Car Loans Of 2017

In this article, we feature the best car loans for new cars, for new and used cars, for car refinancing, and we feature a good all rounder that offers a number of different vehicle-buying options. Also, despite the fact we are fully committed to helping people achieve greater levels of wealth and financial security, we have also featured two of the best car loans for people with poor credit. As you will read, we do not think that people with poor credit should get a car because cars are a great way of hemorrhaging money from your account. Nevertheless, to keep things fair, we have included two companies that will not rip you off if you have a poor credit rating.

What Is The Point Of This Article?

Why do phone sex lines still exist when the Internet gives you all the free adult content you could ever wish for? Why do articles still rank the best car loans when comparison websites exist? Have you ever wondered why people still buy books when they can read most texts electronically? Some people like a personal experience. Such articles give borrowers an extra perspective. Reading from screens is sometimes more difficult. The point of this article is to help you get a clear view of what is on offer for you. Do not let comparison websites fool you into thinking your options are limited.

Get An Extra Perspective And Stop Being So Trusting

Only a fool believes anything he or she reads on the Internet, which is a shame because many people seem to believe what they read on the Internet without question. Some people haroo the appearance of comparison websites as a new era in money saving and convenience, but the people who host such websites have to make their money some way.

If you are a savvy shopper, you have probably tried five or six comparison websites to try to find the best car loans and you have probably noticed that they all offer very different results…but how can this be?

I always suggest that you try different comparison websites to get the best deal. I also suggest that you try articles such as this one to get a wider perspective of the deals available to you. Many comparison websites will omit or change the deals/offers/companies that conflict with the deal/offer/company they are tasked with promoting. On the flip side, many articles of this nature will promote one company/deal/offer above all others because the web masters are paid more for application referrals.

Those are the reasons why I say you should use several comparison websites and read numerous best car loans articles to give you a clearer view of what is on offer and a better idea of what good value for your money looks like.

Is A Car Loan The Same As A Car Financing Deal?

A car loan is not the same as a car financing deal. A finance company will lend you the money you need to buy a car, and they will repossess your car before coming after you for the rest of the money. A car loan from a bank credit union or money company will just come after the money. Knowing you are going to buy a car with the money helps them make their credit decision. They assume that the money may help improve your earning power, or that you may sell the car if you really need the money to make your loan payments.

Most writers will lay into car financing deals at this point. They will tell you horror stories about people being ripped off in the most disgusting ways possible with financing deals. The truth is that there are times when a car finance deal is better than a bank/credit union/money company car loan. However, common sense suggests that you always go for a car loan first before you go through a car financing company.

Car financing companies have possible perks, such as a lower price for your car, longer interest-free periods, lower credit standards and so forth. However, the sheer amount of car financing scams, and the way they are mis-sold by dishonest car sales people means you should prioritize a car loan from a bank, credit union or money company before you consider a car finance company.

The Best Car Loans For Buying New Cars


Lightstream car loan company logo

The Lightstream car loan company is rather well known in the car financing and car loan industry. If you have ever looked for a car loan or car finance yourself, you will have probably seen their adverts and their presence on review websites. They have a robust affiliate system that encourages reviewers to write about them in a positive light. Luckily, their aggressive advertising is backed up with a brilliant car loan service for new cars, which is why the Lightstream car loan company has taken its place on our best car loans review.

Get A Lower Rate If You Use AutoPay

When you apply for a car loan with the Lightstream car loan company, they often give you the option to lower your rate even further if you agree to pay with AutoPay. There is loan estimating tool you may use on their homepage that allows you to see how much you are going to pay and what your APR will be both with and without AutoPay.

Very Low Rates For People With Excellent Credit

Many of the Lightstream car loan company APR interest rates that Lightstream advertises are for people with excellent credit ratings. For example, the 2.19% APR interest rate that is listed on their homepage is for people with excellent credit looking for a loan between 10K and 25K with a term between 24 and 36 months.

Buy From Dealers And Private Sellers

The Lightstream car loan company offers car loans, which means you may have the money in your account to spend within a day. Negotiate the price of your car, apply with the Lightstream car loan company, get the money in your account, and make the purchase. The company does offer you the opportunity to buy used and new cards, as well as offering things such as lease buyout and things of that nature.

I should remind you that the Lightstream car loan company offers the best car loans for new cars. Just because they offer other services, it doesn’t mean you should take them. They are a good car loan company, but they only win when it comes to buying new cars. Their other loan deals are great, but they can be beaten by other companies.

Get A Fixed-Rate Loan From $5,000 to $100,000

Don’t forget that you need excellent credit to get a loan with this company. If you do have a good credit rating, then you can enjoy APRs as low as 2.19% and as high as 17.99%. The table shown below is on their homepage, but it only applies to people who have truly excellent FICO scores. If your credit score is good-to-great, then your APR will be closer to 17.99%.

Lightstream APR rates table

The LightStream company offer a wide range of lending services, and it seems that their many services have a mixed online reputation. We are only recommending their new car loan service. We are also aware that it may be easy to cheat the Lightstream car loan company by claiming you are using the loan for a new car and then buying a used car, but they can take legal action against you if they discover you have lied to them.

The Best Car Loans For Buying New And Used Cars


OneMain imageI had a little trouble picking OneMain as the winner in this category. I am okay with the fact that they operate in 44 states because that is widespread enough for most people in the US, but I am not too happy with their insistence that people do business in their branches. You can apply online, but they ask that you sign the papers in their branch and have the money deposited in your account from there. Plus, their customer service is truly awful.

OneMain was picked as number one in this category because the application process is long and ugly, but a wide range of people will be able to get a new or used car loan. Plus, if you have a good credit rating, you may be eligible for one of their lower interest rates. If you have a poor credit rating, the APR they offer will be sky high.

Personal Loans For Cars Up To As Much As $25,000

When you apply for an auto loan with OneMain, you are getting an unsecured personal loan that you are promising to spend on a used or new car. The least you may borrow is $1500, and the most is $25,000. You may use their “Check For Offer” button on their homepage to see if you have a pre-qualified loan offer available to you already.

The pre-qualified offers are for people who foolishly clicked buttons or tick boxes with other companies when they say, “Do you mind if third-parties contact you?” or things of that nature.

They Require A Good-To-Great Credit Score

Don’t believe the online reviewers that say that OneMain lends to people with poor credit ratings. Don’t believe the online articles that say they have no minimum FICO score requirement because they do. The reason so many online reviewers lie about it is because the OneMain affiliate program pays for applications and not for approved loans.

Online reviewers who have signed up with OneMain are hoping you will at least apply for a loan so they are paid affiliate money, so reviewers claim that credit ratings don’t matter to try to encourage people to apply. If you do get a loan from them and you have a poor credit rating, then the rate they give you will be very high.

Customer Support And Customer Service Is Terrible

One of the biggest downsides of the OneMain is their customer service, which is truly terrible. They are rude, abrupt, they interrupt you and they talk down to you. Their operatives even talked down to us when we where making sales enquiries and they were supposed to be selling to us.

Great Rates For People In 44 States

To save you the trouble of visiting their website to see if you are able to apply, here is a full list of the states that have OneMain branches. There is probably no point in applying if you do not live in one of the states because it will be one hell of a distance to travel to pick up your funds. There are 1700 branches in total.

North Carolina
North Dakota
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
South Carolina
South Dakota
West Virginia

The Best Car Loans To Refinance Your Auto Loan

Clearlane Car Refinance

Clearlane Car Refinance

The way the company works is devastatingly simple. If you have a finance deal with a company and you have had it for six months to a year (or longer), and you have kept up your payments, then Clearlane Car Refinance may be able to offer you a better deal. After all, one assumes that your credit rating has improved thanks to your correct management of your current financing deal, ergo the Clearlane Car Refinance is able to offer you a better deal based on your improved credit rating.

Their refinance deals will lower your interest rate, which results in a lower total amount being paid. Your other option is to have them lower your monthly repayment amount, but that is only an option for people who are finding their current payment plan a little too much. Lowering your monthly payment will extend the length of your finance deal and increase the amount you pay in total.

Clearlane Car Refinance Offers A Number Of Loan Products

Our best car loans article would be remiss if it only concentrated on the refinancing side of Clearlane. They offer loans for people who wish to buy a new or used car from a dealership, and you offer refinance deals where they try to lower either your rate or your monthly payment.

They offer lease buyout loans, and they offer private party purchase loans where they give you the money you need to buy from a private seller. Their protection products include GAP (Guaranteed Asset Protection) insurance, and VSC (Vehicle Service Contract) insurance.

There Is Loan Estimation Tool That Gives You A Rough Idea

If you have a good-to-excellent credit rating (FICO score), then the estimation tool is a fairly accurate indicator of the type of deal you will get. If you have a sketchy bank history, a less-than-great credit rating, or a troubled financial history, then the tool will lie to you.

IMAGE – Clearlane quote estimator

The Loan Process Is Easy Enough

Pre-qualify without your SSN and without any impact on your credit rating. Once you have pre-qualified, you will have to call one of their loan experts who will walk you through which type of loan you can get. You will have to explain your refinancing needs and choose your loan. The refinancing deal it mostly carried out over the phone and online, where their staff works with you every step of the way.

They Give You Loan Options That You Didn’t Know You Had

Our experience with Clearlane Car Refinance seems rather typical of what other have told us and what others have said online. You pre-qualify and then speak to the loan consultant and they give you a series of refinancing options that you were maybe not aware of. The reason you may not be aware of them is because other loan and refinancing providers seem to narrow your field of vision. The others offer you their thing and only their thing, but Clearlane Car Refinance says you can have A, B, C or D, or maybe a mix of B with a little E and F.

The Best Car Loans – A Reasonable All Rounder

 PenFed Credit Union

PenFed Credit UnionI am often reluctant to mention credit unions in reviews such as this because their availability often has severe limits. In many cases, credit unions are unable to provide lending services to a wide number of people. However, the PenFed Credit Union allows people in continental US locations and in Hawaii to apply for and gain credit, so they have been included in this article. I am suitably impressed with their auto loan services, especially when many of their other services are just horrible. I suggest considering them for an auto loan, but maybe staying away from them if you have any other borrowing business to conduct.

A Good All Rounder

Referring to their auto-loan services only, we found their lending options to be of a high quality. You may get new auto loans, used auto loans, refinancing loans, car buying services, payment saver auto loans for new and used cars. When I say they are a good all rounder, I mean that they offer a high quality service for all the loans that were just mentioned. In many cases, it is possible to save money when comparing their offers with those of other auto loan companies.

Do Not Rely On Comparison Websites

I tried to find PenFed Credit Union services on comparison websites and they were very poorly represented. For example, if you have a credit rating of over 720, and you want a 60-month term for your $20,000 term, you may find APR rates of around 4% and 5% on comparison websites. You may also notice PenFed Credit Union on the same credit rating where they offer an APR rate of 12% upwards. Yet, if you go to their website and apply through their website, you can get a 60 month loan with an APR rate as low as 3.49%.

Loans Up To $100,000 For 72 Months

Loans for things such as new and used vehicles have rates that start at 2.99% APR, and the minimum you can borrow is $10,000. The longest term available is 72 months, and it is possible to become pre-approved for a loan. You may also start your application and get a provisional acceptance before you agree to a hard credit check. Applying online is easy, and sometimes you get an instant decision.

What Sort Of Credit Rating Do You Need

If you have a FICO score of 720 or more, then you are going to get a quick and usually positive response. However, some people have managed to get auto loans with credit ratings between 660 and 719. Such decisions are made when other factors, such as income and banking history are taken into account.

Their Customer Service Is Pretty Bad

If we do not come across problems organically, we like to try out the customer service department with a few questions and fake problems to see how they act, and we were oddly unimpressed every time. Their response times to messages take two days or longer. They only seem to care if you call them, and even their phone support workers seem poorly trained and poorly informed. We were put on hold for the simplest questions.


I am quite serious. This is the part of this article that has to be included in order to provide a full and varied coverage of the “best car loans” topic, but it is directly contrary to the wealth building articles I have written for in the past.

Getting to the point–this is the section covering the best car loans for people with poor credit ratings. I implore anybody who has a poor credit rating; please do not get a car loan or car financing. Please do not buy a car.

Unless you live in very rural place where no bus or train arrives within five miles, then there is no excuse for buying a car. The whole, “I need it to get to work” or “I need it to pick up my kids” is no excuse for buying a car. America has one of the most intensive public transport systems in the world, it is only rivaled by places such as Japan and Britain, and the USA is far bigger than those places.

Do Not Buy A Car If You Have A Poor Credit Rating

The first and most important reason why you shouldn’t buy a car if you have a poor credit rating is because you don’t need one. A car is a luxury, and you shouldn’t be enjoying luxuries if you have a poor credit rating, you should be working on your credit to help you build wealth in the future.

Car loans and car financing deals on offer to people with a poor credit rating are terrible. Even the ones suggested by this article are not good enough to wipe your boots on. They are a darn sight better than what other companies are offering, but they are the best of a bad bunch.

You have a history of mismanaging your money, and buying a car is yet another example of that mismanagement. You could save much more money by not having a car. If you think about it, you could invest that money into saving money in other areas of your life with things such as bulk buying toilet roll and saving up for an energy-efficient washing machine. Break the habits of a lifetime. Don’t mismanage your money further by buying a car. Repair your credit rating, and build a larger disposable income, and then consider a car.

Now You Have Finished Ignoring My Advice

Here Is A Good Company That Lends To People With Poor-to-Good Credit Ratings

  Capital One Car Loans

A car used as a chicken coop

There are more than 12,000 dealers in the US that accept Capital One’s financing, and they are commonly known for accepting buyers who have bad credit. Capital One appears on this article because they are the best of a bad bunch. As I have overstated in this article, it is a terrible idea to get any sort of car loan or car financing if you have bad credit, but if you must, then it is best to go with a big company that has a brand to protect.

Interest Rates Vary Wildly Depending On Your Credit Rating

As we mention a little later, we have had extensive dealings with Capital One both in private and as part of our research, and we have found their decision making processes to be rather advanced. For example, you may have a credit rating between 500 and 600 and may be worried that no legitimate credit company will ever accept you, but if you have a good banking history, then you may be surprised by Capital One’s positive response. You may have a poor FICO score, but if you have been making your payments for a good long while, then Capital One will be very forgiving. When you check your credit score, if you have all green marks on it, then Capital One may approve your application.

A credit scoring companys payment record indicating ok

The interest rates are terrible, but they are not nearly as bad as what many of their competitors offer. Capital One has extensive buyer-education resources to help you understand what you are getting into. Also, they make use of an Auto Navigator tool, which allows you to become pre-approved for car financing deals. It also allows you to compare car payments for the vehicles you are interested in, and you can do it all online without having to leave your house.

You Can Finance A Used Car

Capital One will allow you to finance a used car, which is a plus on its own merit. Their restrictions are also fairly liberal in this regard. In many cases, your car much have fewer than 120,000 miles on it and it must be younger than ten years. All of this works with the understanding that your car still has value within six to twelve months. If it still has value, then Capital One does not make a complete loss if they have to repossess the car from you, or if you have to sell it to make your payments.

Just because you have bad credit, it doesn’t mean you have to go with an unknown financing company. You have probably been shown the door by many banks, and you may be tempted to go with a finance company that offers ugly rates with promises of acceptance. The existence of Capital One means your rates are not as ugly, and their promises are mostly kept.

Most Of Your Dealing Will Be Online

Capital One mostly operates online, which is no problem for you, especially if you are buying through a car dealership that accepts Capital One finance. However, if you live in the mid-Atlantic or South, then you may also conduct your business with Capital One at one of their many branches. Just like working with them online, you are able to get financing through them on your own without doing it through the dealership. In other words, you can get financing and then approach the seller, rather than approaching the dealer and letting them arrange the finance deal through Capital One.

Where Capital One’s Best Car Loans Do Not Apply

Obviously, if your credit rating is in the toilet, then they will still reject you. Capital One is pretty good at accepting people with credit scores below 630, especially when it comes to credit cards. A mix of our personal and professional research with Capital One has repeatedly proven that they will offer loans as high as $4000 and upwards to people who have a poor credit rating. We have also has extensive dealing with their credit cards where they are happy to increase your credit limit even if you have a credit rating in the 500s.

If you have a high enough credit rating and a good banking history, then there are a few more hurdles that may trip you up at the post. Capital One will not offer you a loan to buy your car from a private seller, nor will their finance deals apply to any sort of lease buyout. The company only works with vehicles that are over $4000 and under $40,000.

People With Poor Credit And Are Looking For Older Car Financing

 Auto Credit Express

Old broken car from the olden days

If you have a low, but not terrible FICO score, then Auto Credit Express may be for you. I offer them here as an alternative to Capital One. Why would we offer an alternative to Capital One in our Best Car Loans article? There are numerous reasons, which we will explain below, and where I may not be saying that Auto Credit Express is better than Capital One, I am saying that Auto Credit Express is a viable alternative to Capital One’s vehicle financing.

Reasons Why You May Choose Auto Credit Express Over Capital One

There are also some people who may not qualify for Capital One financing, and there are plenty of car dealers that will accept Auto Credit Express financing, but will not accept a finance deal from Capital One, even if you set up the Capital One financing independently before arriving at the dealership.

Some people may have had bad experiences with Capital One, and some who may have already burned their bridges with Capital One and may not be able to go back. There is also a phenomenon that we have noticed sometimes where some lending companies do not like you to have too much debt with their company as a whole. We noticed it when we did research into banks when we were testing their lending services. We noticed that banks tend to love it if you get into a much debt with them as possible; they want all your debt under their roof. However, some lending companies are reluctant to lend too much to you. For example, if you already have a credit card with them, and maybe an arranged overdraft with your online account, they may be unwilling to lend even more to you via a car financing deal. There is a chance that Capital One will not lend to you if you already use their other lending services.

Auto Credit Express Do Not Automatically Reject High Mileage Vehicles

Quite a few lending and finance companies are going to reject you outright if you present them with a car that has very high mileage, but Auto Credit Express will not reject you straight away. They will consider financing older vehicles if you have one in mind. The company has a suitable range of knowledge tools and lending options that may help you get a car loan or car financing with a reasonable APR when your APR is taken into account.

They Arrange Finance Through Different Companies

When you sign up for credit with Auto Credit Express, you may not actually receive the money from the Auto Credit Express itself; you may receive it from one of their partner companies. This is not a bad thing for you because it may mean that your low FICO score may not mean instant rejection. Auto Credit Express deals with partners that offer special finance for people with terrible credit ratings. In addition, this also means that if you have been through bankruptcy, then Auto Credit Express may still be able to help you. Again, as I keep saying, we at eCheck are advocates of wealth building and financial security, so ask yourself a few hard questions about if you really need a vehicle if you have been through bankruptcy. Maybe it is time to truly start living well below your means. You can get the bus to work, your kids can get the bus to school, and you can take a taxi to take your dog to the vet. Please think carefully about if a vehicle is really the best thing for you right now while your credit rating is in the toilet.

You Need A Higher Gross Monthly Income

They take people with terrible FICO scores, and they take people who have been through bankruptcy too. If your credit rating is terrible, then you may not receive the money/deal from Auto Credit Express, and may instead receive it from one of their special-finance dealers.

If you have a flexible/changeable monthly income, then Auto Credit Express is likely to reject you. They tend to want people who have a monthly income of $1800, though we had an application approved with a monthly income of $1500, though that applicant’s credit rating was 555, which is poor, but not terrible.

The Auto Credit Express will reject you if you have a flexible/changeable monthly income, even if your income seems to meet the criteria. For example, if you receive $3000 one month, and then $800 the next month, then you have averaged $1900 per month, but Auto Credit Express will still reject you.

Who Should And Shouldn’t Try Auto Credit Express

If you have a poor or terrible FICO score and if you have been through bankruptcy, then try Auto Credit Express before you try any other. The rates you get will be awful, but that is to be expected at this stage. Compared to the vast number of vultures, parasites and predators that prey on people with a poor credit rating, the Auto Credit Express is downright consumer friendly. You may also like to consider Auto Credit Express if you are looking at an older car, and you should defiantly consider them if you have a gross monthly income of $1800.

There are plenty of reasons why Auto Credit Express may reject you, especially if they cannot pair up your credit situation with the right finance dealer. They are also unwilling to give you the money in your account to buy a car, so you are setting yourself up for a finance deal online. You cannot buy from a private dealer, and if your car dealer insists on setting up your finance deal, then they may not accept a deal from Auto Credit Express.

About The Author

Ben Todd

Ben was a seriously broke graduate student with bad credit who after finding himself rejected for any sort of credit card or loan for most of his adult life, finally decided to get his financial life in order. 'He spent several years reading as many financial advice books and blogs as he could.And suprisingly, Ben found he actually LIKED the topic of personal finance; after fixing his own finances, starting his own successful work at home website business, and using his earnings to get out of debt, created to help others do likewise!

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