Auto Approve and Ally promise the convenience of refinancing your auto loan online. Neither lender has any physical branch locations. Instead, both offer refinancing and lease buyout products ideal to those who are comfortable navigating their finances from the web.

However, whereas Ally is a direct lender, Auto Approve operates as a loan marketplace, helping you match with its partner lenders. Consider Auto Approve for customized support and Ally if you have imperfect credit.

Auto Approve vs. Ally at a glance

Auto Approve


Bankrate score 4.0 3.9
Better for 
  • Vehicle add-ons
  • Streamlined application
  • Applying with co-applicant
  • Viewing expected payments
Loans offered Refinancing, lease buyout Refinancing, lease buyout
Loan amounts $10,000-$150,000 Not specified
APRs From 5.24% Not specified
Loan term lengths 12- 84 months Not specified
Fees Varies by lender Not specified
Minimum credit score 650 Not specified
State footprint All 50 states 48 states
Time to funding Varies by lender Several days to a few weeks
Autopay discount? Varies by lender No
Refinancing restrictions
  • Varies by lender
  • Heavy equipment and commercial vehicles excluded
  • Existing loan must be at least seven months old
  • Noncommercial vehicle that’s less than 10 years old and hasn’t been used as a taxi or police car

Auto Approve auto loans

Auto Approve serves borrowers across all 50 states with the option to refinance their current loan or purchase their leased vehicle. The Chicago-based lender uses its online platform to match borrowers with lenders in its network. Some network lenders accept credit scores as low as 650, making Auto Approve a strong option for borrowers with fair credit.


  • Applying with a co-borrower: Applying with a co-borrower with strong credit can dramatically benefit your terms and rates.
  • Long shopping window: Your available rate will be locked in for 30 days, giving you time to shop around and ensure you find the best rate possible.
  • Deferred payment availability: The lender offers qualified borrowers a 90-day payment deferment option. This gives your wallet a break — but interest may continue to accumulate during this period.


  • No list of lenders available: You will only have access to the lenders that you are matched with.
  • Potential fees: Unlike some loan marketplaces, Auto Approve doesn’t charge a fee for its services. But its partner lenders may charge varying fees.
  • Phone communication: By submitting an application, you consent to communication via phone or text from company representatives.

Ally car loans

Ally, formally known as Ally Clearlane, helps borrowers refinance their current loan or purchase their leased car, all from the convenience of its site. Like Auto Approve, the loan products are limited to refi and lease buyouts. Ally sets its income requirement at just $2,000 per month.


  • Automatic payments: Signing off on autopay will help you keep up with payments and ensure you stay on track.
  • Loan add-ons: Ally offers a few add-ons to sweeten the financing deal, including gap protection, vehicle service contracts and lease protection. Auto Approve offers a similar menu of add-ons.
  • Prequalification: Borrowers can prequalify for their loan and preview rates without a hard credit pull. This is especially useful because Ally doesn’t post possible rate ranges online.


  • Not available in all states: Unlike the statewide coverage Auto Approve offers, lease buyout is not available in Alaska, Florida, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, South Dakota, Vermont, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia. Refinancing isn’t available in Nevada, Vermont or the District of Columbia.
  • Minimal information: The lender does not present potential fees, rates or loan amounts on its site.
  • Slow funding timeline: Funding can take up to a few weeks to become available. This can be restrive for a borrower who may be in financial hardship.

How to choose between Auto Approve and Ally

When comparing the experiences Auto Approve and Ally offer, there are more similarities than differences. Both come with the perk of applying online and carry the same product offerings. The application process is fairly straightforward for both.

The option to prequalify with Ally can give you a solid idea of rates ahead of applying. But Auto Approve discloses more details regarding rates, available loan terms and amounts. These are all unknown information when it comes to Ally’s offerings. If you are unsure of what terms would better suit your monthly budget, Auto Approve can provide that insight through its customized support. Ally is best for those with less-than-perfect credit who are ready to seal the deal.

Choose Auto Approve for customized support

Securing a lower interest rate through refinancing will save you money on your monthly payment. If this process feels daunting, working with a lender that prides itself on customer support could give you confidence.

Auto Approve matches its borrowers directly with a consultant who will present you with available loans, explain options and provide advice on what you qualify for. The lender will then work with the DMV to get the title transferred from your old lender to your new one — a perk not afforded by most lenders. Minimum rates are lower than industry averages, though remember this lowest rate will likely only be available to those with excellent credit.

Choose Ally for imperfect credit

Ally does not disclose a minimum credit score. Borrowers must earn at least $2,000 per month, be 18 years of age and have a satisfactory credit score and debt-to-income ratio.

If you meet those qualifications, you may secure a competitive rate that might not be available elsewhere with your credit. Ally also has a generous financial hardship program that allows borrowers to extend their loans and thus lower the monthly payment (at the price of paying more interest over time).

Compare more lenders before applying

Auto Approve is suited best for those who require additional support and Ally can be great for imperfect credit borrowers. Still, it is important to brush up on how to get the best deal and compare many loan options before signing off. Neither of these lenders offers the lowest rates on the market, so if your credit score is truly excellent, you may save the most with another option.