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Best Auto Refinance Companies

car loan refinance concept, filling 1 jar of money from the other

Editors Note: Our editors’ evaluations and opinions are not influenced by our advertising relationships. We may earn a commission when you click on our affiliate partners’ links. Many of the links to brands we link to may be affiliate links.

Margaret Wack
Updated October 30, 2022
6 Min Read

Refinancing your auto loan can be a great way to save money on your monthly payments and even potentially reduce the amount you owe on your loan. We’ll cover the best auto refinance companies for you, plus what you should consider when refinancing a loan.

NameAPRMinimum credit scoreLoan amountBest for
Name
Caribou
APR
2.32% to 36.00%
Minimum credit score
500
Loan amount
$10,000 to $175,000
Best for
Easy application
Name
Refi Jet
APR
Starting at 2.49%
Minimum credit score
500
Loan amount
$5,000 to $100,000
Best for
Option to prequalify
Name
Lightstream
APR
6.49% to 11.99% APR
Minimum credit score
660
Loan amount
$5,000 to $100,000
Best for
Fast funding
Name
PenFed
APR
Starting at 5.24%
Minimum credit score
N/A
Loan amount
$500 to $150,000
Best for
Flexible loan amount
Name
Rate Genius
APR
Starting at 2.99%
Minimum credit score
500
Loan amount
$12,000 to $100,000
Best for
Shopping around
Name
Autopay
APR
Starting at 2.99%
Minimum credit score
560
Loan amount
$2,500 to $100,000
Best for
Multiple refinancing options
Name
LendingClub
APR
2.99% to 24.99%
Minimum credit score
510
Loan amount
$4,000 to $55,000
Best for
Low fees
Name
Upstart
APR
2.25 to 29.99%
Minimum credit score
510
Loan amount
$9,000 to $60,000
Best for
Short credit history

Best Car Refinance Companies

Caribou

  • APR: 2.32% to 36.00%
  • Minimum credit score: 500
  • Loan amount: $10,000 to $175,000
  • Best for: Easy application
Caribou allows borrowers to compare rates from multiple different lenders in order to get the best rates. You can prequalify without hurting your credit score, and the application process takes just a few minutes. Caribou claims that borrowers who refinance save an average of $111.16 per month.

Caribou does have potentially higher APRs than some of the other lends on this list, with a maximum APR of a whopping 36%. However, the lender does accept borrowers with relatively low credit scores, and has flexible loan amounts running from $10,000 to $175,000.

Refi Jet

  • APR: Starting at 2.49%
  • Minimum credit score: 500
  • Loan amount: $5,000 to $100,000
  • Best for: Option to prequalify
Refi Jet is a good option if you’re looking for personalized customer service when refinancing your auto loan. You’ll work with a dedicated representative who can help guide you through the process. Refi Jet also allows borrowers to prequalify before they apply, which can help to protect your credit score.

Since Refi Jet requires working with a representative at least to some extent, it’s not a good fit for customers looking to quickly and easily submit an application online. 

Lightstream

  • APR: 6.49% to 11.99% APR
  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • Loan amount: $5,000 to $100,000
  • Best for: Fast funding
Lightstream is perhaps best known for their personal loans, but they also offer auto refinance loans to consumers. One notable feature is that they have a much higher credit score requirement than other lenders, which could make it harder for those with poor credit to qualify. However, they also have a much smaller APR range, meaning that you could potentially save on interest.

Lightstream offers an easy application process and fast funding. In some cases, you may even be able to have your loan funded the same day you apply.

PenFed

  • APR: Starting at 5.24%
  • Minimum credit score: n/a
  • Loan amount: $500 to $150,000
  • Best for: Flexible loan amount

With amounts ranging from $500 to $150,000, Penfed is a good choice for an auto refinance loan if you’re looking for a very high or very low loan amount. They allow borrowers to prequalify online without affecting their credit. They also offer a variety of term lengths, ranging from 36 months to 84 months.

PenFed claims that borrowers who refinance can save as much as $108 per month. Keep in mind that existing PenFed auto loans aren’t eligible for refinance, so you should look elsewhere if your original loan is through PenFed

Rate Genius

  • APR: Starting at 2.99%
  • Minimum credit score: 500
  • Loan amount: $12,000 to $100,000
  • Best for: Shopping around

If you’re looking to do your due diligence and get rates from multiple different lenders, then RateGenius is a great tool to shop with. Their lender network of over 150 lenders is primarily composed of smaller banks and credit unions, which means that you could get a better deal.

RateGenius claims that customers can save an average of $96 per month by refinancing. Plus, their online application process is simple and straightforward.

Autopay

  • APR: Starting at 2.99%
  • Minimum credit score: 560
  • Loan amount: $2,500 to $100,000
  • Best for: Multiple refinancing options

If you’re looking to choose between multiple different types of refinance loan options, then Autopay could be a good choice. They offer traditional auto refinance loans, cash back auto refinance loans, and lease buyout auto refinance loans.

This lender also features an easy online application process that takes just a few minutes. Autopay claims that customers save an average of $105 per month when they refinance their loan.

LendingClub

  • APR: 2.99% to 24.99%
  • Minimum credit score: 510
  • Loan amount: $4,000 to $55,000
  • Best for: Low fees
LendingClub offers flexible auto refinance loans with minimal fees. The lender charges no origination fee, and there’s no prepayment penalty if you decide to pay off your loan sooner. You can prequalify for a rate online in just a few minutes. In order to qualify, your vehicle needs to be less than 10 years old, and you need to have at least 24 months of payments remaining.

Unlike some other lenders, LendingClub has a lower maximum loan amount limit of $55,000. This means that another lender is likely a better fit if you have a hefty auto loan of over $55,000.

Upstart

  • APR: 2.25 to 29.99%
  • Minimum credit score: 510
  • Loan amount: $9,000 to $60,000
  • Best for: Short credit history

If you only have a short or spotty credit history, or less than stellar credit overall, then refinancing your loan with Upstart could be a good option. The lender takes into account factors like education and employment in addition to your credit score in order to help you qualify for lower rates.

Loan amounts start at $9,000, which means that this lender won’t be a good fit if you owe less than that on your current loan. It’s easy to check your rate and apply online, and the lender charges no application, prepayment, or origination fees.

Methodology

When evaluating the best auto refinance companies, we looked for companies with low rates, low fees, and an easy application process. We also looked for lenders with high customer satisfaction and positive reviews.

When should you refinance your car loan?

There are a few scenarios where it might make sense to refinance your car loan. If your credit has improved since you initially took out the loan, for example, you may be able to qualify for better rates if you refinance. Similarly, if interest rates are lower now than they were when you first purchased your vehicle, you could take advantage of lower rates by refinancing.

On the other hand, if you’re struggling financially or find it hard to make monthly payments, refinancing your auto loan could help to reduce financial pressure by lowering your monthly payments. However, you should keep in mind that if you extend the term of your loan in order to lower monthly payments, you’ll likely be paying more in interest over time.

What do you need to refinance your car loan?

There are a few things you’ll need in order to refinance your loan. First and foremost, you’ll need information about yourself, your vehicle, and your loan, including your VIN, registration, current loan documents, and social security number.

Once you decide on a lender, you’ll need to fill out an application. If your application is accepted, the lender will pay off your old loan. From that point on, you’ll be responsible for making loan payments to your new lender.

Alternatives to refinancing an auto loan

While refinancing an auto loan can be one way to lower your rates or adjust your monthly payments, it’s not the only solution. For example, if you’re looking to lower your monthly payment, you may want to consider requesting a loan modification from your lender that extends your loan term. You could also sell your current vehicle and purchase a less expensive car.

If your car is old, if you’ve almost paid off your auto loan, or if your credit is worse now than it was when you purchased the vehicle, it’s probably not a good idea to refinance your auto loan.

FAQ

How does auto loan refinance work?

When you refinance your auto loan, your new lender agrees to pay off the original auto loan from your old lender. At the same time, you’ll take out a new loan from the new lender. Many people choose to refinance their auto loan in order to secure more favorable rates or lock in lower monthly payments.

How much does it cost to refinance my car loan?

The costs associated with refinancing your auto loan vary depending on your lender, the terms of your initial loan, where you live, and other factors. You may have to pay an application or transaction fee when applying for an auto loan refinance. Depending on where you live, you may also have to pay to transfer your car’s title to the new lender, or to re-register your car with the DMV.

How soon can you refinance an auto loan?

How soon you can refinance your auto loan depends on the lender, as well as the reason why you want to refinance. For example, if you’re waiting for your credit to improve in order to secure a lower rate, it might take several months before an auto loan refinance could benefit you. On the other hand, if interest rates have dropped or you need to lower your monthly payment, you could refinance in as little as two or three months after purchasing your car.

Does refinancing your auto loan affect your credit score?

Refinancing your auto loan can trigger a hard pull on your credit, which can temporarily lower your score by a few points. However, refinancing your auto loan may ultimately benefit your score in the long run if it means that you’re more likely to be able to make on-time payments each month.

Can you refinance a car loan with bad credit?

It is possible to refinance your auto loan with bad credit, but it’s not usually recommended. If your credit is worse than it was when you took out your original auto loan, it’s not a good idea to try to refinance your loan until you bring your score back up. This is because with a lower credit score refinancing your loan could mean that you end up with a higher interest rate.

Can I refinance if I owe more than my car is worth?

If the value of your car has depreciated, you may owe more on your auto loan than your car is worth. If you find yourself in this position, you may still be able to refinance your auto loan, but there will likely be fewer lenders to choose from. That said, refinancing an upside-down auto loan is a step in the right direction to pay off your loan more quickly.

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

In some cases, you may be able to get cash back when you refinance your auto loan, through a process known as cash-out refinancing. In this scenario, you can receive extra cash from your new lender based on the equity you’ve built up in your car. While it can be nice to have additional cash on hand, you should keep in mind that cash-out refinancing will increase your loan balance, as well as the time it will take to pay off your loan.

Can I refinance a car at the same bank?

In many cases, you may be able to refinance your auto loan at the same bank or lender. Not all lenders offer auto loan refinancing, but many do. However, refinancing with the same bank may not get you the best interest rates and terms – you should be sure to compare quotes from other banks and lenders before deciding on a loan.

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