Guide to Online Auto Loans: How to Find the Best Car Loans Online


Most people are on the lookout for the best car loans every 5 to 8 years or so. They get to that point where their current vehicle needs constant repairs, is not as reliable as it once was, and they decide it’s time to find a new ride.

One great thing about living in the Internet age is that you can easily find online auto loans at a number of reputable lenders and don’t have to rely on a car dealer for your financing.

The fact is that online car loans can often offer you more control and—many times—a better financing rate.

Online auto financing has now become the norm, and it allows you to shop around from the comfort of your home for the best online auto loans with the best interest rates according to your credit rating.

Smart car buyers who shop ahead of time for auto loans online can walk into the dealership already knowing exactly what they want and with the financing in place to seal the deal.

In this guide, we are going to provide you with several sources for the best online car loans you can find—including the best online auto loans for bad credit—give you details on the ratings for each one, and provide a few tips and tools for being prepared so you are getting the most out of your car loans online.

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Finding Online Car Finance | Getting Started

Before you begin looking for the best auto loans online, there are a few things you can do first that will help ensure the best experience.

Not everyone realizes the hit their credit rating and FICO score may take when simply applying for online auto loans, so we have a few tips below to make your experience of finding the best car loans online a good one.

Best Car Loans

Image Source: Best Car Loans



There are some things you should do before you shop for the best car loans:

1. Check your credit report. You can apply for a free credit report from each of the three main reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion at www.annualcreditreport.com. These will give you insight into your FICO score that lenders typically use to grade your creditworthiness for auto loans online. If you have a good score (typically 690 and above), then you can expect a better deal from an online car loans lender.

2. Keep your best car loans search to 2 weeks. Limit your search for the best online auto loans to about a 1 to 2 week period. Every time you apply for a loan, your credit score can take a hit, but if you shop for online car loans within a 1 to 2 week period, it may count as only one inquiry rather than several.

3. Choose at least three car options. Research the vehicle type and options that you want online first before you visit the dealerships. This can be a huge benefit if you go to a dealership for your first choice and find the pricing isn’t quite what you expected. Having a second and third choice makes it much easier to walk away without hesitation to the next choice and get the absolute best deal with your pre-approved online auto financing.

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Best Online Auto Loans—Where to Look

We’ve searched out the best places you can go for online auto loans and included a few details and ratings for each below. When shopping for the best car loans, you have a lot of online choices, and these are some that we found that make the online auto loans application and approval process easy. While some of these options require fairly decent credit, some are more flexible. In the next section, we also note which options offer the best online auto loans for bad credit.

CarFinance.com: The site is by Flagship Credit and offers easy online auto loans from $10,000 to $50,000. The maximum online car finance term is 72 months. They promise a quick decision in less than thirty minutes during business hours.

Better Business Bureau (BBB) Rating: A+

US Bank: This online and mobile banking site promotes the best online auto loans starting at low as 1.99% annual percentage rate (APR). Their loan amounts range from $3,000 to $49,999, and the maximum online auto financing term is 84 months. They offer same-day credit decision and no–down payment options.

Better Business Bureau (BBB) Rating: A

LightStream: They are a division of SunTrust Bank and offer car loans online from $5,000 to $100,000. The maximum online auto loans term is 84 months. They promote fixed rates as low as 1.99% and also offer a quick response during business hours.

Better Business Bureau (BBB) Rating: Not BBB Accredited, A+



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Source: MyAutoLoan.com

MyAutoLoan.com: They offer auto loans online from $8,000 to $99,000. The maximum online car finance term is 72 months. They give you four loan offers with one application and promote a quick turnaround time in just minutes.

Better Business Bureau (BBB) Rating: A+

Capital One: Well known for their credit card commercials, Capital One also promotes their best online auto loans starting at 2.49% APR. They offer loans between $4,000 and $40,000 and a maximum 72-month term for their online car loans. They have a pre-qualification process with no risk to your credit score.

Better Business Bureau (BBB) Rating: A+

Carvana: They offer personalized financing terms for their car loans online with no restriction on the loan amount. The maximum online auto financing term is 72 months. You have to purchase the car through their site.

Better Business Bureau (BBB) Rating: A+



Best Online Auto Loans for Bad Credit

There are options for finding the best online auto loans even if you have bad credit or no credit at all. You do need to know that typically those options will mean higher interest rates, but these best online car loans for bad or no credit can make it possible for you not only to purchase a much-needed vehicle, but also to rebuild your credit to a better rating.

We recommend that you check each lender thoroughly and compare all the costs associated with their online car finance offers, including interest rates, fees, and down payment requirements to ensure you get the best deal.

best online auto loans-min

Source: Cars Direct

CarsDirect: They offer the best online auto loans for bad credit and promote the ability to get you a loan with bad credit, no credit, or if you’ve declared bankruptcy. They do not list a restriction on the loan amount. The maximum online auto financing term is 84 months. They offer a 60-second application process and have served more than 5 million customers since 1998.

Better Business Bureau (BBB) Rating: Not BBB Accredited, no rating



RoadLoans.com: They promote the best car loans whether you have good or bad credit or a bankruptcy. They do not mention a specific amount or term limit for their auto loans online, but the company claims they offer “the longest term possible.” They have handy apps you can use for all their services and a calculator tool, both for Android and iPhone.

Better Business Bureau (BBB) Rating: Not BBB Accredited, A+, with an alert.

Valley Auto Loans: This site promotes 100% application acceptance and “all credit types accepted” for their online auto loans. They do not list a restriction on loan amount or information on the maximum online car finance term on their site. They note that someone will get back to you in 24 business hours after you submit the online application.

Better Business Bureau (BBB) Rating: Not BBB Accredited, F

Auto Credit Express: They are a leading provider of online auto loans for those with either good or bad credit, covering both the United States and Canada. They don’t list a restriction on loan amount or information on the maximum online auto financing term on their site. They promote being able to apply online in just 3 minutes for the best online auto loans, and they also offer military auto loans.

Better Business Bureau (BBB) Rating: A+

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Best Car Loans—Things to Watch Out For

It always pays to read the fine print when you’re looking for the best car loans you can find on the Internet. You don’t want to get pre-approved for one of the best online car loans only to find out after you pick out a car that there is an exclusion you weren’t expecting. Many of the best car loan providers exclude cars that you can use the loan for based on age, mileage, or damage (such as hail or flood exposure), and some providers also exclude certain makes and models.

One of the first things you will want to check on a lender’s website is exactly where they can offer the best car loans online. Some can only loan in particular states while others have a wider territory. Also be sure you know where you can purchase the car once you are approved for one of the online car loans, some lenders work only with certain car dealers, and most don’t allow private purchases.

Here are some things to watch out for while shopping for the best auto loans online:

  • What states and territories they cover
  • Vehicle mileage restrictions
  • Vehicle age restrictions
  • Damage exclusions for vehicles
  • Make and model restrictions
  • Down payment requirements
  • Restrictions on where you can purchase the car
  • Expiration date for the online car loans pre-qualification
  • Any pre-payment penalties

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Best Online Auto Loans—Resources You Can Use

Besides the best car loans calculators that you’ll find on most websites that offer auto loans online, there are some other great tools and references out there you can use to arm yourself with all the knowledge you need to get a great deal on one of the best auto loans online.

Here are a few helpful resources you’ll want to check out before you finish the search for online auto loans:


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Online Auto Loans Guide—Conclusion

As you can see, there are a lot of options out there when you’re looking for the best car loans online, so it pays to check several sites to compare online car loans and their rates and restrictions. You can access some great rates on well-known sites, but be prepared to pay a bit more if you’re looking for car loans online with less-than-good credit.

But even if you have no credit, which happens often after a divorce or if you’ve had a bankruptcy, there are still some online auto loans available to ensure you can buy a car when you need one. Just be sure to check over all the terms and annual percentage rates, and compare between each of the “bad credit” car loans online to make sure you don’t pay more than you need to.

Searching for the best online auto loans can save a lot of time since you can do it from the comfort of your own home and often get the approval results in minutes. You also have lot of resources from government and other websites you can use to make sure you find the best car loans out there for your needs. We hope that this guide for finding the best online car loans was helpful and that it gives you a starting point when searching for online auto loans now and in the future.

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