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Autopay: 2024 auto loan review

2024-01-01 14:00:00

At a glance

4.3
Rating: 4.3 stars out of 5

Bankrate Score

  • Availability
    Rating: 5 stars out of 5
  • Affordability
    Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
  • Customer Experience
    Rating: 4.2 stars out of 5
  • Transparency
    Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
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About Autopay

  • Moneybag

    Loan amount

    $8,000-$150,000

  • Credit Good

    Min. credit score

    Not specified

  • Rates

    APR from

    4.99%

  • Funds available in

    As little as one business day

Best for drawing on your car’s equity

Is your car worth more than what you owe on it? Autopay offers cash-out refinancing, meaning you refinance your existing loan for more than you owe and pocket the difference. You’ll have to pay interest on the extra sum, but if you have another high-interest debt you want to pay off, Autopay’s competitive rates could make this type of loan a smart move.

While this loan product isn’t unique to Autopay — some competitors, like RefiJet, also offer cash-out refinancing —  it helps this lender stand out. 

Autopay pros and cons

There are some key benefits and drawbacks of Autopay auto loans to consider before applying.

Green circle with a checkmark inside

Pros

  • Convenient
  • Long maximum term
  • Perfect credit not required
Red circle with an X inside

Cons

  • Lack of transparency around maximum APR
  • Down payment
  • Possible loan origination fee

Autopay is an online lending marketplace that helps consumers find the best deal on auto loan financing. You can view potential loan offers from lenders in its network without affecting your credit score. If there’s a match, the application process is streamlined so you can quickly finalize your new auto loan.

 

Do you qualify?

Autopay doesn’t specify lending requirements on its website. You can get prequalified in minutes using the online form to view potential loan offers. The form is simple to complete, and getting prequalified won’t impact your credit score.

When you're ready to formally apply with a lender you will need to provide specific vehicle details to receive full approval. 

Autopay versus PNC

PNC Bank offers purchase and refinance loans. It is likely a better option for people who prefer an in-person experience thanks to its large network of branches. PNC also stands out for its Total Auto program, which makes it easy to search for vehicles in your area.

However, its loans can be pricier than ones through Autopay for people who have great credit. 

Autopay versus LightStream

Like Autopay, LightStream is an online lender that helps refinance or buy cars. Like Autopay, LightStream excels at fast funding, offering loans in as little as a single day.

LightStream has a higher minimum APR, which means customers with great credit will likely get a better deal from Autopay. On the other hand, LightStream offers unsecured auto loans — meaning your car won’t immediately be repossessed if you default.

What we like and what we don’t like

Consider these benefits and drawbacks of an auto loan with Autopay before applying.

What we like

  • Convenient: You can explore loan options from multiple banks, credit unions and online lenders with a single streamlined application and without hurting your credit score.
  • Long maximum term: Autopay’s maximum term length exceeds that of most competitors. Extending your loan term for a lower payment is tempting, but remember that a longer term means more interest paid over time.
  • Perfect credit not required: You could qualify for an auto loan with a lender in the Autopay network even if you have less than perfect credit.

What we don’t like

  • Lack of transparency around maximum APR: Autopay’s minimum interest rate is only available to well-qualified borrowers with excellent credit.
  • Down payment: Some applicants must put cash down to secure a new car loan. However, down payments aren’t required for auto loan refinancing.
  • Possible loan origination fee: Autopay’s website notes that you may face a loan origination fee, depending on your state of residence. The fee’s amount is not stated.

How to contact Autopay

If you’re interested in applying for an auto loan with Autopay, visit the website to submit an online inquiry or contact customer service by phone. Customer support is available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. MT and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. MT. You can also connect with a representative via text message.

Auto loan types offered

The lenders in the Autopay network offer auto purchase loans and three types of refinancing.

New and used car loans

  • Amounts: $8,000-$150,000
  • Terms: 12-84 months
  • APR: From 4.99%

If you’re in the market for a new ride, you can work with Autopay to find the perfect auto loan for your financial situation. Like most online lenders, Autopay allows you to view your possible rates without affecting your credit score by prequalifying. The 30-day prequalification period allows you to shop with confidence at the dealership. 

Traditional refinancing

  • Amounts: $8,000-$150,000
  • Terms: 12-84 months
  • APR: From 4.99%

Whether you want to lower your monthly auto loan payments or secure a lower interest rate, refinancing with a lender in the Autopay network may help you meet your goal. You can also shorten your loan term and pay off your car loan faster. 

Cash-out refinancing

  • Amounts: $8,000-$150,000
  • Terms: 12-84 months
  • APR: From 4.99%

If you want to draw on your vehicle’s equity, cash-back refinancing could be a viable option. You can receive up to $12,000 in cash and use the funds however you see fit. Some borrowers opt to pay off higher-interest debt and free up funds for other financial goals.

Lease buyout

  • Amounts: $8,000-$150,000
  • Terms: 12-84 months
  • APR: From 4.99%

This financing option can help you keep your leased vehicle when the lease term is up. Or you could pay off your lease early. Plus, you can avoid excess mileage fees if you’ve exceeded the limit specified in the lease agreement.

How to apply for a loan with Autopay

After gathering the necessary documents, fill out Autopay’s application form, which does not require a hard credit check. Autopay will shop your information to lenders in its network and present potential auto loan offers to you if there’s a match. If you decide to move forward, the lender will pull your credit and review supporting documents before issuing full approval.

Features and perks

Hopeful borrowers with imperfect credit can add a co-signer to improve their odds of approval or land a better rate. 

Once you’re approved for a loan, Autopay lets you add extras, like gap insurance or a vehicle service contract. These add-ons are fairly common among lenders and can also be purchased separately, so make sure to compare pricing before tacking them onto your loan.

Fees and penalties

Like most lending marketplaces, Autopay doesn’t list specific fees on its website, aside from noting a possible loan origination fee. Each lender it works with may have different fees, so it’s important to read the fine print of any offer you receive. However, unlike some competitors, Autopay doesn’t appear to charge a processing fee to match you with its network of lenders. 

Autopay frequently asked questions

How Bankrate rates Autopay

Overall score 4.3
Availability 5.0 Autopay’s wide network of lenders allows for wide coverage in the areas of loan amounts, state availability and terms. It also doesn’t have dealership restrictions.
Affordability 3.5 Affordability will vary based on the lender you’re matched with, which means Autopay falls toward the middle of the road.
Customer experience 4.2 Autopay offers customer service six days a week, full online access and a shopping period of 30 days, earning it a higher customer service score.
Transparency 4.5 Fees and rates are only partially available on Autopay’s website, but prequalification availability bumps its score up.

Methodology 

The Bankrate team assessed more than 35 auto lenders to find the best. Bankrate considered 18 criteria, such as acceptance criteria, loan amounts and APR range. These scores are broken into four categories.

  • Availability: Loan amounts, repayment options, dealership requirements and state availability all contribute to this category. Lenders that serve customers nationwide with flexible loan amounts rank higher.
  • Affordability: This section houses APR ranges, acceptance criteria, fees and discounts. Lenders with the lowest rates, fewer fees and most generous acceptance criteria receive higher scores.
  • Customer experience: Our team looked at how easy it is for customers to apply for and manage their loans. Criteria include how long you have to shop, customer service hours, whether there’s an app and autopay availability.
  • Transparency: This includes prequalification and disclosure of rates and fees. We favored lenders that make it easy for customers to preview possible costs.

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Bankrate.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the lender’s website for the most current information.