If you’re looking for an auto loan with a credit score ranging between 700 and 709, you can expect to qualify for a good interest rate. At the same time, it’s still important to shop around for the best deals.
Here’s a guide to auto loans for people in the 700 to 709 credit score range, along with tips for improving your credit score so you can qualify for an even better rate next time around.
Can I Get a Good Car Loan with a 700 Credit Score?
Generally, a credit score falling between 700 and 709 falls within the “good” range according to myFICO. This kind of score puts you right at the average or slightly above average among consumers in the United States.
If your score dips any lower than around 670, however, you risk falling into “fair” territory, which is where you’ll see higher interest rates. By contrast, if you can raise your score to 750, you’re considered above average compared to other consumers, and your score is labeled “very good.”
In other words, a 700 credit score is solid, and you probably won’t encounter any difficulty qualifying for an auto loan. There’s room for improvement, however, and working hard to raise your score could help you get a better interest rate on an auto loan.
Current New Car Auto Loan Interest Rates With 700 Credit Score
Interest rates fluctuate with the market, so it’s a good idea to check for the very latest rates if you’re shopping around for a car loan.
According to U.S. News, the average interest rates for auto loans based on credit scores for people buying a new car in 2022 are as follows:
|Credit Score||Interest Rate|
|Very Bad (449 or lower)||n/a|
People with scores in the “very bad” range may not qualify for an auto loan, and will pay a high-interest rate when they do. For this group of borrowers, it’s probably better to hold off on getting a loan and spend some time working on raising their credit score.
Current Used Car Auto Loan Interest Rates with 700 Credit Score
The same U.S. News report also listed 2020 auto loan interest rates for people buying a used car.
|Credit Score||Interest Rate|
|Very Bad (449 or lower)||n/a|
Keep in mind that these are just averages. Depending on your individual circumstances, such as your income and how much money, if any, you put down, you could qualify for a higher or lower interest rate.
Who Has the Best Auto Loan Interest Rates?
If you’re looking for an auto loan, here are two lenders that get overall high marks for offering good customer service as well as affordable interest rates for people with credit scores between 700 and 709.
In general, credit unions tend to offer lower interest rates than banks. The reason is that, unlike banks, credit unions are owned by their members, which means they have an incentive to keep rates as low as possible.
The downside of financing through a credit union, however, is that you must be a member to apply for an auto loan.
Assuming you qualify for membership, Consumers Credit Union is known for offering auto loan interest rates well below the national average. According to its website, Consumers Credit Union offers auto loan rates as low as 4.09%.
One of the nice things about Consumers Credit Union is you don’t have to be part of a specific group or industry to join. While many credit unions cater exclusively to teachers, firefighters, or other groups, Consumers Credit Union is open to anyone who pays the $5 membership and has a minimum 640 credit score.
If you prefer an auto loan from a recognizable name in the financial industry, Capital One is worth checking out. Through its Auto Navigator tool, Capital One lets you prequalify for an auto loan, so you know your financing terms and interest rate before you shop for a car.
Capital One won’t do a hard pull of your credit report if you get pre-qualified, so there’s no risk in using the Auto Navigator tool. If you decide to follow through with a loan application, however, Capital One will do a hard pull of your credit report.
You might pay a higher rate depending on your income, how long you choose to finance your vehicle, and other factors.
Best Online Auto Loan Rates
These days, a growing number of people are comfortable shopping online for an auto loan. If you like the convenience of online lending, check out the following options for your car loan.
Technically, Lending Tree is a loan aggregator rather than a lender. While it doesn’t offer auto loans itself, it will match you with lenders that fit your requirements.
Lending Tree is a free service, and getting matched with possible lenders won’t affect your credit score, as Lending Tree doesn’t do a hard pull of your credit report.
To get offers, you’ll need to answer a series of questions, such as the make and model of the car you want to buy, how long you want to finance, whether you’re putting any money down, and how much you want to borrow. From there, Lending Tree matches you with lenders offering the best rates.
LightStream offers low-interest, fixed-rate auto loans for people with good credit. If you have a solid credit score and a qualifying income, LightStream is worth considering for new or used car loans, as well as refinancing or private party vehicle purchases.
LightStream is known for its flexibility. For example, it puts no restrictions on the mileage, make, or model of the vehicles it finances. It also offers same-day funding, which is great if you need to make a purchasing decision in a hurry.
Interest rates are fixed, and there are no fees or prepayment penalties.
How to Search for the Best Financing Options
After a house, a car is generally one of the biggest purchases a person will make. Understandably, you want the best rate you can get.
As you shop around for auto loans, keep an eye on the following factors to make sure you find a deal that fits your budget.
Your interest rate will largely depend on your credit score and income. However, other factors also play a role.
The interest rate you receive can be influenced by the make and model of the vehicle, how much you’re borrowing, and the length of the loan.
Length of the Loan
Also pay attention to the length of the loan, which is sometimes called the “term.” This refers to how long it will take you to pay off the vehicle.
Unlike real estate, vehicles depreciate almost immediately after you drive off the lot. If you stretch out an auto loan for a lengthy period of time, you could end up owing more on your car than the vehicle itself is worth — something known as being “underwater” on a loan.
Generally, you will find the best interest rates on loans with shorter terms. As a rule of thumb, you should try to finance no longer than 60 months for a new vehicle and no longer than 36 months if you’re buying used.
Hard or Soft Credit Inquiry
When you inquire about financing or try to get pre-approved, some lenders will do a hard inquiry while others are satisfied with a soft inquiry. It’s important to know which one is involved, as a hard inquiry will get listed on your credit report.
By contrast, a soft inquiry won’t affect your credit report in any way. If you apply for several auto loans at once, and they all result in a hard inquiry, your credit score could drop for a few months.
Depending on your lender, you may encounter some restrictions. For example, some lenders won’t offer loans for consumers who are buying a vehicle from a private seller, while others limit their financing to specific auto dealerships.
Simple Tricks to Improve Your Credit Score
The better your credit score, the better interest rate you can expect to receive. If you have some time before you need to buy a car, it’s worth doing everything you can to boost your score.
Pay Your Bills on Time
Your payment history makes up 35 percent of your credit score, making it the most important factor in determining your score. By paying your bills on time, including things like credit cards, you can quickly raise your credit score.
Lower Your Credit Utilization
After your payment history, your credit utilization is the next biggest factor in determining your credit score. Responsible for 30 percent of your score, this is the ratio of how much available credit you have versus how much you’re using.
Generally, you should aim for a credit utilization rate below 30 percent. For example, if your credit card has a $2,000 limit, you don’t want to carry a balance higher than $600.
Don’t Close Old Credit Cards
If possible, avoid closing credit cards you no longer use. When you close an account, you lose out on credit history, which makes up 15 percent of your credit score.
However, there are some cases in which it makes good financial sense to close an old credit card. For example, if the card has a high annual fee, you’re probably better off closing it.
When you’re ready to shop for an auto loan, it pays to take your time and do your research. A credit score between 700 and 709 will most likely net you a good interest rate, but it might be worth working on boosting your credit score first so you can qualify for an even better rate down the road.