Best Used Car Loans

Used car loans may come with more strings attached than new car loans

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Buying a used car is often a better value because they’re cheaper, and you can avoid the big depreciation hit that comes with driving a new car off the lot. However, arranging the financing for a used car is a very different story.

Used car loans typically come with higher interest rates and have more restrictions on the type of car you can buy compared to new car loans. But there are still good options—we’ve compiled the best used car loan companies, based on rates, terms, and fees, to help you find the right loan for your vehicle. 

Best Used Car Loans of 2023

Best for Easy Buying Experience : PNC Bank

PNC Bank logo

PNC Bank logo

  • APR Range: 6.24%–16.24%
  • Loan Amounts: $5,000–$100,000
  • Loan Terms: 1–7 years
Pros & Cons
  • Can shop with a check in hand with certain dealers

  • Allows private-party vehicle purchases

  • Discount if you set up autopay from a PNC account

  • Doesn’t offer pre-qualification

  • Doesn’t allow co-signers, only co-borrowers

  • Must apply in-branch for private-party purchases

Why We Chose It

PNC Bank has several flexible options to help you buy a used car depending on where you’re purchasing it from. If you’re buying from a dealer, you can apply for a traditional used car loan, or you can apply for a PNC Check Ready loan that allows you to bring a blank check to a car dealership directly, with the idea that you can walk off the lot as soon as you find the right ride. If you’re buying from a private party, however, you’ll need to apply in person at a branch location.

If you set up autopay from a PNC Bank account, you’ll also get an additional 0.25% discount off your rate. Unfortunately, you’ll need to be relatively sure you’re eligible for approval with this bank because you can’t apply with a co-signer (you can apply with a joint applicant, however), and you’ll need to submit a full loan application including a hard credit check. 

Try limiting your rate shopping to a two-week period so you can reduce the negative impact of having multiple hard credit inquiries listed on your credit reports. 

Borrower Qualifications
  • Must be employed
  • Available to residents in 50 states
  • Must be a U.S. citizen with a Social Security number
Vehicle Qualifications
  • Maximum loan-to-value ratio: 115%
  • Maximum vehicle age: 8 years old
  • Allows private-party used car purchases
  • Maximum accepted mileage: 80,000 to 100,000, depending on your credit
  • Check Ready loans can only be used to purchase used cars at a dealership that also sells new cars

Best for High Maximum Accepted Mileage : Consumers Credit Union

  • APR Range: Starting from 5.49%
  • Loan Amounts: $500–$350,000
  • Loan Terms: Up to 7 years
Pros & Cons
  • No mileage or age caps

  • Offers TrueCar car buying service

  • Offers 24-hour mechanical repair coverage

  • Requires you to join the credit union

  • Doesn’t allow private-party vehicle purchases

  • Not very transparent about loan requirements

Why We Chose It

Consumers Credit Union is an especially good choice if you‘re trying to buy an older or high-mileage vehicle from a dealer. Unfortunately, the credit union doesn’t allow you to use loan funds to buy a used car from a private seller, like someone off Craigslist. Aside from its relatively open-door policy to new members and its loose age and mileage requirements, Consumers Credit Union doesn’t provide much information about what you’ll need to qualify for a loan. 

The credit union offers the TrueCar car buying service, which can help you save up to $1,824 off of the MSRP for a new car, although you can use the service to buy a used car too. If you sign up for autopay on your loan, you can get a 0.25% discount. And if you’re worried about breaking down, Consumers offers optional-to-purchase ForeverCar mechanical repair insurance.

Borrower Qualifications
  • Available to residents of all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
  • If approved, you must join the credit union by first joining the Consumers Cooperative Association for a $5 fee, and then depositing another $5 into a savings account.
Vehicle Qualifications
  • No mileage or age limits
  • Maximum loan-to-value ratio: 125%

Best for Low Used Car Loan APR : AUTOPAY



  • APR Range: Starting from 2.99%
  • Loan Amounts: $2,500–$100,000
  • Loan Terms: 2–8 years
Pros & Cons
  • No payments for first 45 days

  • Potential for lowest possible rates

  • Allows private-party vehicle purchases

  • Doesn’t provide many loan details

  • Doesn’t allow co-signers, only co-borrowers

  • Doesn’t disclose lenders in its partner network

Why We Chose It

AUTOPAY is one of our top lenders thanks to the ultra-low rates it advertises. If you’re able to qualify for those low rates, it could be the cheapest loan you’ll find anywhere. Presumably, you need excellent credit and a high income to qualify, but since AUTOPAY provides only a few details about its used car loans, it’s impossible to say. 

AUTOPAY is a used car loan marketplace that matches you up with a lender. Unfortunately, AUTOPAY doesn’t disclose how many lenders it works with or what their requirements are for getting a loan, so it’s a bit of an unknown. Still, it can’t hurt to apply and see what rates you may qualify for. And if nothing else, you won’t have to make any payments on the loan for the first 45 days. 

Borrower Qualifications
  • Minimum credit score of 500 or higher (according to customer support)
  • Available to residents of all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
Vehicle Qualifications
  • Maximum vehicle age: 10 years
  • Must have 150,000 miles or less
  • Allows for private-party vehicle purchases

Best for High Loan-to-Value Ratio : Chase Auto

Chase logo
  • APR Range: 6.74%–20.24%
  • Loan Amounts: Starting from $4,000
  • Loan Terms: 1–7 years
Pros & Cons
  • Maximum loan-to-value (LTV) ratio of 140%

  • No down payment needed

  • Seamless loan with certain dealerships

  • Quick loan decision times

  • Doesn’t allow co-signers, only co-borrowers

  • Doesn’t allow private-party used car purchases

  • Can only be used at a Chase network dealership

Why We Chose It

Chase offers auto loans with an exceptionally high loan-to-value ratio of 140%. Why is this important? You may need to borrow more than the value of the vehicle to help pay for the typical extras, like taxes and title/license fees.

The downside of Chase used car loans is that you can only use them to buy a car from a dealership that’s already in Chase’s partner network. While Chase doesn’t say how many dealerships this is, the good news is Chase is the largest bank in the country, so your odds are better than with a less well-known bank. 

This loan requires the bank and the seller to already be linked up, so that means a smoother loan transition for you. You can shop for a car online, get your loan details all dialed up, and then simply go to the dealership to test-drive the used car to make sure it’s what you want. If it’s not, no worries; you can simply transfer the loan to another car. 

Borrower Qualifications
  • Must be at least 18 years old 
  • Available to residents of all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
Vehicle Qualifications
  • Maximum vehicle age: 10 years
  • Must have 120,000 miles or less
  • Maximum loan-to-value ratio: 140%
  • Doesn’t allow private-party used car purchases
  • Some types of exotic cars aren’t eligible for financing
  • Must purchase the car from a Chase network dealership
Customer Reviews*
  • “My overall experience has been good. I don’t really have anything else to compare to, because this is the first loan I got. I didn’t actually go looking for it. My old car broke down, so I needed a new one, and instead of renting one, I thought I’d just buy one…. So I went to a dealer, and Chase was just sort of what they gave me. I didn’t really go through other options.”
  • “So there really wasn’t that much of an issue. It was easy, mostly because it was through the dealer.”
  • “[Managing my loan] is pretty easy since it’s just on autopay right now on Chase itself. I also use Chase as my main bank, so it’s easy. It’s on the app. I can see it under loans and lines of credit right there. So I don’t really think about it. It’s really easy.”

*Customer reviews were collected from an independent Investopedia survey of 1,016 current, past, and prospective auto loan borrowers.

Best Credit Union : NASA FCU



  • APR Range: Starting from 4.39%
  • Loan Amounts: $5,000–$125,000
  • Loan Terms: 3–7 years
Pros & Cons
  • Ultra-low interest rates

  • No payments for first 60 days

  • No limits on vehicle mileage or age

  • Slow funding times

  • Doesn’t offer any discounts

  • Doesn’t allow private-party car purchases

Why We Chose It

NASA Federal Credit Union is designed to benefit NASA employees, but it allows anyone to join by giving them a free one-year membership to the National Space Society. It’s another good choice if you're trying to purchase an older or higher-mileage car from a dealership, because this credit union has no restrictions on those common blocking points for used car loans. 

You’ll need to have a bit more patience with this credit union, however, because it can take three days to receive your funds (versus one day for most other lenders). It does offer the nice perk of not requiring any payments for the first 60 days. However, this isn’t as helpful as you might think because interest still accrues during this time—the very point when your interest payments are the highest they’ll ever be for this loan (because the balance is at its biggest). 

Borrower Qualifications
  • Available to residents in 50 states
  • Must be a U.S. citizen and employed
  • Minimum credit score of 600 or higher (according to customer support)
Vehicle Qualifications
  • No mileage or age restrictions
  • Maximum loan-to-value ratio: 120%
  • Doesn’t allow private-party purchases

Best for Flexible Loan Terms : Credible

Credible logo
Credible logo.
  • APR Range: 4.60%–35.99%
  • Loan Amounts: $600–$100,000
  • Loan Terms: 1–7 years
Pros & Cons
  • Transparent lender network

  • Low loan amounts available

  • Allows private-party car purchases

  • Sparse details about loans

  • May be personal loans, not auto loans

  • High maximum APR for some borrowers

Why We Chose It

Credible offers a marketplace for used car loans where it can connect you with one of its 11 partner lenders that offer auto loans. Keep in mind that Credible is geared more toward the personal loan marketplace, and indeed some of its partner lenders don’t even advertise auto loans on their websites. 

You can use a personal loan to buy a car, which may be easier and would prevent your car from being repossessed if you default. However, these loans are usually far more expensive than regular used car loans. 

Another big downside is that Credible isn’t very open about its loan requirements. It doesn’t tell you what car requirements (if any) there are, whether non-citizens can apply, or what type of credit score you’ll need. The maximum rates you may end up paying if you don’t have good credit are higher than those disclosed by most other top lenders, for example (these rates may be for personal loans).

Borrower Qualifications
  • Available to residents in 50 states
  • Specific requirements vary by partner lender
Vehicle Qualifications
  • Allows for private-party used car purchases
  • Specific requirements vary by partner lender

Final Verdict

We like PNC Bank as a good all-around lender for just about every used car loan option, since it offers low rates, widespread availability, and the option to quickly find and buy a car. If you prefer working with credit unions, Consumers Credit Union and NASA FCU offer loans with very few restrictions on the type of used car you’re buying, as long as you don’t mind buying from a dealership. If you’re looking to shorten your rate shopping, Credible and AUTOPAY are two great loan marketplaces.

Guide to Choosing the Best Used Car Loans

What Is a Used or Pre-Owned Car?

Used or pre-owned cars are exactly what they sound like: Before coming to you, they had at least one other owner. This differs from certified pre-owned cars, which dealerships often turn back into nearly tip-top shape complete with a warranty and other benefits. 

Since even a Model T can technically be considered a “used” car, most lenders have limits on how many years and miles your car can have on it before it’s ineligible for financing. Lenders want to make sure that your used car isn’t too old to do its main job of getting you around. 

You can get used car loans from most of the same places as a new car loan. Banks and credit unions are popular choices due to the low rates they offer (especially credit unions). Dealerships often arrange financing with banks and credit unions for a slightly higher rate, but you can negotiate this cost. Online lenders, including auto loan marketplaces, give you a wider range of options to find even lower rates yet.

How to Compare Used Car Loans

Used car loans can seem pretty similar at first glance, but it’s important to dig into the details. Here are a few good things to check on as you shop around for your used car loan:

  • APR
  • Term lengths
  • Credit requirements
  • Vehicle requirements (age, mileage, etc.)
  • Fees (especially origination fees and prepayment penalties)
  • Dealership availability (some lenders only work with certain dealerships)
  • Whether the lender allows private-party purchases

Alternatives to Used Car Loans

Car loans are some of the most common types of debt around, but that doesn’t mean they’re a good first choice if you need to buy a car. Here are some other options:

  • Lease a vehicle: Leasing is often cheaper than buying, but it’s mostly limited to new cars. Consider this carefully because you won’t own the car.
  • Trade in an old vehicle: If you already have a car, most dealerships will shave a bit off your price if you trade it in. Be aware that you can generally get more by selling the car yourself. If you take this route you may still need to take out a loan to cover the remaining amount.
  • Save up to buy in cash: If you’re able to use public transit or family and friends to get around, it may be better to save up for a while. It can be frustrating, but any disappointment will vanish when you can pay in cash and drive away without having to worry about any loan at all.
  • Need-based car loans and grants: If you’re low-income, it’s important to know that there are many organizations that offer subsidized car loans and even grants to people who need assistance with buying a car. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How Do You Qualify for a Used Car Loan?

    Lenders generally look for the same things in a car loan applicant: a good credit score, consistent income, and proof of identity. Most lenders also have separate qualifications for the used car itself, such as a cap on age or mileage. The specific qualifications vary by lender. Some lenders will allow you to add a co-signer to your loan if you can’t get approved on your own, but this has big implications, so consider it carefully. 

  • Is It Better to Get a Used Car Loan From a Bank or a Dealership?

    Dealerships may charge higher rates than banks, but it’s also generally easier to negotiate a lower rate too. One exception is for buy here, pay here dealerships which target people with bad credit. These dealerships charge exorbitantly high rates on loans, which makes it easy to miss payments and wind up having your car repossessed.

  • Can You Negotiate a Used Car Loan?

    Yes, you can negotiate the price of your used car loan. You’ll need to shop around to get as many quotes as you can from a range of lenders. Then, take the best offers to the dealership to see if they’ll offer a lower rate, a lower car price, and/or a higher value for your trade-in.


Investopedia 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.

Friends Sitting In Car

Fabio Camandona / EyeEm / Getty Images

Article Sources
Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
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