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Best Auto Loan Refinance Rates

Learn how PNC, AUTOPAY, and Consumers CU can help you refinance your auto loan

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Refinancing your car loan can help you save money by lowering your interest rate, extending your repayment term, or both. Before you apply, however, it's important to shop around and compare interest rates and other terms to ensure you get the best deal.

Here are our top picks for the best auto loan refinance offers, and everything you need to know about them. We researched 20 leading auto loan lenders and evaluated them based on rates, fees, loan types and features, and borrower and vehicle requirements, among other criteria.

Best Auto Loan Refinance Rates of 2023

Best Big Bank : PNC Bank

PNC Bank logo

PNC Bank logo

  • Refinance APR Range: 5.89%–20.84%
  • Refinance Loan Amounts: $5,000–$100,000
  • Refinance Loan Terms: 12–84 months
Pros & Cons
  • Flexible repayment terms

  • Interest rate discount for PNC customers

  • Offers cash-out refinance loans

  • Not available in all states

  • No prequalification available

Why We Chose It

PNC Bank doesn't offer auto loan refinancing in all 50 states—you need to close at a physical branch, and the bank only has branches in 29 states. However, the lender does offer a lot of flexibility with its loan amounts and repayment terms. 

If you're a PNC checking customer, you can get a 0.25% discount on your interest rate when you set up automatic payments from the account.

The lender doesn't disclose its credit requirements upfront, and with no way to get prequalified, you'll need to submit an official application and undergo a hard inquiry to see your rates. However, you can use the "Get Rates" feature to get a rough idea of what to expect based on how much you want to borrow and your desired loan term. 

While not all lenders offer prequalification, you can rate-shop within a short period and have all of the inquiries combined into one for credit-scoring purposes (14 or 45 days, depending on the credit score model).

Borrower Qualifications
  • Auto refinance loans are only available in the 29 states where the lender has physical branches.
  • Lender does not disclose minimum credit score or income requirements.
  • Borrower must provide two-year employment history and income information.
Vehicle Qualifications
  • Maximum accepted vehicle age: 8 years
  • Maximum accepted mileage: 80,000 miles (borrowers with excellent credit may be able to refinance vehicles with mileages as high as 100,000)
  • Maximum loan-to-value ratio: 115%
  • Allows private-party vehicle purchases: Yes

Best Loan Marketplace : AUTOPAY

  • Refinance APR Range: As low as 2.99%
  • Refinance Loan Amounts: $2,500–$100,000
  • Refinance Loan Terms: 24–96 months
Pros & Cons
  • Works with multiple lenders to help you shop around

  • Prequalification with no impact on your credit score

  • Offers cash-out refinance loans

  • Doesn't disclose maximum APR

  • Lenders may charge origination fees in some states

Why We Chose It

As an auto loan marketplace, AUTOPAY works with credit unions and other lending institutions to offer a range of refinance options. It works with borrowers with bad credit, but if you have excellent credit, you may qualify for one of the lowest interest rates on the market.

That said, AUTOPAY doesn't disclose a maximum APR. Fortunately, you can go through the prequalification process to view your potential offers without a hard credit check. You can also add a co-signer to your application to improve your odds of getting favorable terms. 

Because AUTOPAY partners with several lenders, it offers a lot of flexibility with loan amounts and repayment terms. Funding times can vary by lender.

Borrower Qualifications
  • Loans are available in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico
  • Minimum recommended credit score of 500
  • Does not disclose a minimum annual income
Vehicle Qualifications
  • Maximum accepted vehicle age: 10 years
  • Maximum accepted mileage: 150,000 miles
  • Maximum loan-to-value ratio: Not disclosed
  • Allows private-party vehicle purchases: Yes

Best Credit Union : Consumers Credit Union

Consumers Credit Union

 Consumers Credit Union

  • Refinance APR Range: Starting at 5.24%
  • Refinance Loan Amounts: $500–$350,000
  • Refinance Loan Terms: 60–84 months
Pros & Cons
  • No vehicle age or mileage restrictions

  • Flexible loan amounts

  • Membership not required, according to customer support

  • Interest rate discount for members

  • Doesn't disclose a maximum APR

  • Doesn't disclose borrower requirements

  • May try to upsell with mechanical repair coverage

Why We Chose It

Consumers Credit Union offers very low and very high loan amounts, giving borrowers a lot of flexibility. What's more, the lender doesn't have limits for vehicle age or mileage—restrictions that are common among other auto lenders. Cash-out refinance loans are available.

While you can get a 0.25% interest rate discount for being a member of the credit union—it only costs $5 to join—you're not required to become a member to get approved for a loan. Unfortunately, the lender only discloses its starting APR, and it doesn't provide minimum eligibility requirements either. However, you can view rate offers with just a soft credit check with its prequalification process. If approved, you can get your loan in as little as one day.

Watch out for a potential upsell with the lender's mechanical repair coverage. Before you agree to it, review the cost and check to see if you already have the coverage under your vehicle's warranty.

Borrower Qualifications
  • Loans are available in all 50 states.
  • Lender does not have a minimum credit score requirement.
  • Lender does not disclose a minimum annual income requirement.
Vehicle Qualifications
  • Maximum accepted vehicle age: None
  • Maximum accepted mileage: None
  • Maximum loan-to-value ratio: 125%
  • Allows private-party vehicle purchases: No

Best for Same-Day Funding : PenFed

PenFed Credit Union personal loans

PenFed Credit Union personal loans

  • Refinance APR Range: 5.19%-6.99%
  • Refinance Loan Amounts: $500–$150,000
  • Refinance Loan Terms: 36–84 months
Pros & Cons
  • Offers same-day funding upon approval

  • No maximum age limit

  • Flexible loan amounts

  • Must become a PenFed member

  • Doesn't disclose maximum APR

  • Doesn't disclose credit requirements

Why We Chose It

PenFed Credit Union offers competitive interest rates and a lot of flexibility with its loan amounts, offering loans as low as $500. If you get approved, the lender may cut you a check on the same day—it'll be made out to your existing lender and sent directly to you. You can also request a cash-out refinance loan if you have enough equity, though the maximum LTV is 125% in most markets.

While there is a mileage limit on vehicles you can refinance, PenFed doesn't have an age limit. And although it doesn't disclose a minimum credit score requirement, you can get prequalified and view potential offers without an impact on your credit score.

You will need to become a PenFed member to get approved, but the process is easy and requires just a small deposit (which PenFed will actually pay for you, if you’re approved for a loan).

Borrower Qualifications
  • Loans are available in all 50 states, D.C., and select U.S. territories
  • Does not disclose a minimum credit score
  • Must join PenFed Credit Union, which requires a $5 deposit into a PenFed savings account (PenFed will provide the $5 if you’re approved)
Vehicle Qualifications
  • For loans less than seven years: No limit on vehicle age, must have 125,000 miles or fewer
  • For loans of seven years or more: Vehicle must be less than five years old and under 60,000 miles
  • Maximum loan-to-value ratio: 125%
  • Allows private-party vehicle purchases: Yes

Best Online Lender : LightStream



  • Refinance APR Range: 8.24%–15.69%
  • Refinance Loan Amounts: $5,000–$100,000
  • Refinance Loan Terms: 3–7 years
Pros & Cons
  • No age or mileage restrictions

  • Loan is unsecured

  • Same-day funding

  • Interest rate discount with automatic payments

  • Relatively high minimum APR

  • High minimum loan amount

  • No prequalification without impact on credit score

Why We Chose It

LightStream's auto refinance loan is somewhat unique in that it's not a secured loan—you don't need to use your vehicle as collateral. As a result, there are no vehicle restrictions, and you don't have to worry about losing your car if you can't make payments. 

That said, since LightStream's loans are unsecured, that also means that the lender's interest rates are higher than other auto lenders, even if your credit history is great. You can qualify for a 0.50% interest rate discount if you set up automatic payments, and the lender does offer to beat competitor rates by 0.10%, but that may not matter if you can get a rate lower than LightStream’s minimum APR.

Unfortunately, the lender doesn't offer prequalification to let you check eligibility with no impact on your credit score. However, its loans are available primarily to borrowers with good and excellent credit. 

You won't have to worry about the risk of repossession, but defaulting on an unsecured loan can result in other severe consequences. In addition to reporting the negative activity to the credit bureaus, lenders may also sue you to collect payment.

Borrower Qualifications
  • Minimum recommended credit score of 660
  • Must be the age of majority in your state
  • Must have a verifiable source of income
  • Available in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
Vehicle Qualifications
  • Maximum accepted vehicle age: No maximum
  • Maximum accepted mileage: No maximum
  • Maximum loan-to-value ratio: No maximum
  • Allows private-party vehicle purchases: Yes

Best for Low Minimum APR : OpenRoad Lending

OpenRoad Lending

 OpenRoad Lending

  • Refinance APR Range: 1.99%–24.99%
  • Refinance Loan Amounts: $7,500–$100,000
  • Refinance Loan Terms: 24–72 months
Pros & Cons
  • Low starting interest rate

  • Allows co-borrowers (but not co-signers)

  • Offers cash-out refinance loans

  • High minimum loan amount

  • Website is outdated and has conflicting information

  • Does not offer prequalification with a soft credit check

Why We Chose It

If you have excellent credit, OpenRoad Lending offers one of the lowest interest rates on the market, with the chance to get up to $5,000 cash with the lender's cash-out option. OpenRoad's minimum loan amount is high compared to the other options on our list, and its minimum repayment term is a bit long as well. 

The lender works with borrowers with bad credit, but it doesn't disclose a maximum interest rate. What's more, there's no way to get prequalified with no impact on your credit score unless you receive an offer in the mail. That said, the lender does accept co-borrowers, if you have trouble getting approved for a low interest rate on your own.

Borrower Qualifications
  • Minimum credit score of 500 
  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Available to residents in 46 U.S. states
  • Must make at least $2,000 per month (earnings from Uber or similar services do not count toward the income requirement) 
  • Your DTI cannot exceed 40%
  • Can only refinance auto loans issued by NCUA- or FDIC-insured lenders such as credit unions and banks
Vehicle Qualifications
  • Maximum accepted vehicle age: 8 years
  • Maximum accepted mileage: 160,000 miles
  • Maximum loan-to-value ratio: 180%
  • Allows private-party vehicle purchases: No
  • Business vehicles, Oldsmobile, Daewoo, Smart Cars, and Isuzu vehicles are not eligible for refinancing

Final Verdict

As you shop around for an auto refinance loan, it's important to take your time to compare interest rates, repayment terms, and other important loan factors.

If you're looking for same-day funding, consider PenFed or LightStream—the latter is particularly worth exploring if you don't want to use your vehicle as collateral. However, if you're looking for the lowest interest rate possible, try AUTOPAY and OpenRoad Lending. Those two options are also accessible if you have less-than-stellar credit. 

Or, if you're looking specifically for a loan from a big bank or a credit union, you may consider PNC Bank or Consumers Credit Union, respectively.

Auto Loan Rates by Credit Score

Credit Score Average APR (New Car) Average APR (Used Car)
781-850 4.75% 5.99% 
661-780 5.82% 7.83%
601-660  8.12% 12.08%
501-600 10.79% 17.46%
300-500 13.42% 20.62%

Source: Experian: State of the Automotive Finance Market Q4 2022

Guide to Choosing the Best Auto Refinance Loan

When to Refinance Your Auto Loan

Refinancing your auto loan can be worth considering if any of the following are true:

  • Your credit has improved or your income has increased since you took out the original loan.
  • General market interest rates have dropped.
  • Your monthly payments are too high.
  • You can find deals on rates through a particular lender.
  • You want to tap the equity in your vehicle and get some cash.

That said, it may not make sense to refinance your car loan if:

  • Your credit has stayed the same or gotten worse since you first took out your auto loan.
  • Market rates have increased.
  • You can't find a better interest rate than what you're currently paying.
  • You don't want to increase your loan amount with a cash-out refinance.

Compare Auto Refinance Loans

Shopping around and comparing multiple lenders can help you maximize your interest savings and take advantage of other features that can benefit you. As you go through this process, here are some factors to consider:

  • Interest rates
  • Loan repayment terms
  • Loan amounts
  • Length of loan
  • Monthly payments
  • Vehicle restrictions, including vehicle age and mileage
  • Loan-to-value (LTV) ratio limits
  • Fees and prepayment penalties
  • Credit requirements

How To Apply For an Auto Loan Refinance

The process of applying for a refinance auto loan can vary slightly depending on the lender. But here are some general steps to give you an idea of what to expect:

  1. Shop around: Get prequalified or apply with at least three to five lenders, so you have enough information to compare the best auto loan refinance interest rates, terms, and other features to ensure you get the best deal.
  2. Compare terms: Once you've settled on a lender, compare its loan terms with the terms of your current auto loan to determine how much money you can save.
  3. Submit an application: Depending on the lender, you may be able to apply online, over the phone, or at a local branch. You'll need to provide basic information about yourself and your vehicle, your desired loan amount, and various documentation to prove your identity, your loan's payoff amount, your vehicle ownership, and more.
  4. Accept the loan: After the lender has reviewed your application, it'll give you a final offer, which may or may not be the same as the preapproval quote. Review the loan agreement, including the fine print, then sign the contract.
  5. Set up payments: Keep making your current loan payments until you've confirmed that the old loan has been paid in full. Then, set up automatic payments with the new lender to ensure on-time payment going forward. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Does refinancing a car loan hurt your credit?

    When you apply to refinance an auto loan, the lender will typically run a hard credit inquiry. According to FICO, each additional inquiry typically takes only a few points off your credit score, and after a year, inquiries don't affect your score at all. For credit scoring purposes, multiple loan inquiries in a short period of time will only count as one inquiry, so you can shop around for a period of 14 or 45 days (depending on credit score model) without fear of damaging your credit.

    If you're approved and you sign the loan agreement, you'll open a new credit account, which can have a temporary negative impact on your credit score because it’s new credit, and it reduces the average length of your credit history. Getting a cash-out refinance would increase the amount you owe, which can also have a slight negative effect.

    With all that said, the most important factor in your FICO score is your payment history. As long as you make your payments on time, refinancing your auto loan won't have a significant negative impact. In fact, it can help you build your credit score over time.

  • Can you refinance a car loan with bad credit?

    It's possible to refinance your auto loan even if you have bad credit. However, you can generally expect high interest rates and potentially even some upfront fees unless you have a co-signer who has great credit. 

    Before you apply for a refinance auto loan with bad credit, thoroughly research your options and compare terms to what you're currently paying to ensure you can get a better deal.

  • Can you refinance your car loan if you owe more than what your car is worth?

    Many lenders have loan-to-value ratios upward of 100%, so even if you owe more than your vehicle is currently worth, you may still be able to refinance your auto loan. As you compare lenders, check for loan-to-value ratio limits to get an idea of what's available for your situation.

  • Is it worth refinancing your car loan?

    It can be worth it to refinance your car loan if you can get better terms than your current loan. Even if the loan terms are similar, it could be worth it if you want to get some cash out of your vehicle's equity and use it to pay off high-interest debt.

    That said, it's crucial that you take your time to research all your options and understand both the short-term benefits and long-term costs associated with refinancing. This is particularly true if you're extending your repayment term, because you could end up paying more interest over the life of the new loan.

Other Auto Loans


The Balance is dedicated to providing consumers with unbiased, comprehensive reviews of auto loan lenders. To rate providers, we collected hundreds of data points across more than 20 auto loan lenders, including interest rates, fees, loan amounts, borrower requirements, and vehicle requirements, to ensure that our reviews help users make informed decisions for their borrowing needs. We also conducted a survey of 1,016 auto loan borrowers for attitudes and opinions about lenders and the loan process.

Best Banks for Refinancing Auto Loans

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