The average price for a new car today is more than $35,000. Even when buying a used vehicle, most Cleveland residents need to finance these large purchases. Many different companies offer car loans, and the options can be overwhelming. Our partners at We researched the best car loans in Cleveland to make your buying experience stress-free.
While many people wait to arrange financing until after they’ve found they want to buy, there are many advantages to setting up a loan from a bank, credit union or online lender before ever stepping on a car lot in Cleveland. Getting pre-approved for a loan:
Saves time at the dealership
Determines your budget before shopping
Gives you additional leverage when negotiating price
Lets you shop at multiple dealers
Applying for auto loans in Cleveland
Lenders in Cleveland have varying requirements to qualify for car loans, but most use the same financial information to decide the terms. Your credit score is the most important factor for qualifying for a car loan with a low annual percentage rate (APR).
Cleveland residents had an average credit score of 680 in 2017, slightly exceeding the national average of 673. Borrowers with excellent credit receive APRs between 3 and 5 percent, while borrowers with poor credit qualify for loans with interest rates in the low-to-mid teens.
Besides APR, other things to consider when comparing loan offers are:
Loan term: This is the amount of time you have to pay off your car loan, usually between 36 and 72 months. The longer the term, the cheaper your monthly payment, but the loan accrues more interest during this time and costs more in the long run.
Down payment: You may need a larger down payment if you have poor credit. Paying more upfront reduces your monthly payments or allows you to pay your car off over a shorter term.
Taxes and fees: In addition to the price of the car and the APR, you may have to have pay state sales tax, a documentation fee and charges from the dealer.
Prepayment penalties: Find a lender who allows you to pay your loan off early if you choose. Some lenders charge penalty fees if you pay off your loan before the end of the term.
Getting a car loan with bad credit in Cleveland
There are ways to obtain better rates on a car loan if you have poor credit, such as asking a trusted relative or friend if they will co-sign your loan. This alleviates some risk for the lender, but your co-signer is responsible for the loan if you default. Some institutions, such as online lenders, work with those who have less than desirable credit scores.
LightStream is an online lending option owned by SunTrust Bank that is primarily geared toward buyers with good credit. Borrowers may obtain financing to purchase a vehicle from a private party or dealership. Cleveland customers appreciate the easy-to-use interface, but a few people say they received poor customer service.
Auto Approve allows those with existing auto loans to refinance them at a lower interest rate. Applicants must have a minimum remaining balance of $7,500 on a car, motorcycle, RV or boat loan. Cleveland customers praise the competitive interest rates and excellent customer support provided by the loan representatives.
LendingTree allows borrowers to comparison shop for loans of all kinds. The company provides auto loans, refinancing or lease buyouts with terms ranging from one to seven years. Reviewers from Cleveland enjoy the ability to compare options from competing lenders and say LendingTree worked with to improve their credit scores.
myAutoloan.com was established in 2003 by Horizon Digital Finance as an internet-based auto lending search platform. Customers can use the interest rate estimator and payment calculator tools to identify the best car loan for their needs. Reviews from Cleveland indicate customers find the lending process to be quick and easy.
Capital One is a national bank that offers multiple lending services. The company’s Auto Navigator application allows you to search for vehicles available in your area that can be purchased using CapitalOne’s financing options. Cleveland customers say the company’s customer service representatives are professional and friendly.