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Summary:  A review of the best auto loan rates for new, used & refinanced vehicles for borrowers with credit scores between 640 and 649.

A credit score of around 640 to 649 is considered fair credit. Your score is below the national average of 710, but it’s not in the “poor” range. You will be eligible for just about any new, used, or refinance automobile loan on the market, but you won’t get the best interest rates. 

Your credit isn’t the only factor affecting your interest rate. You’ll have to decide whether to finance through the car dealer, your local bank or credit union, or an online lender. Your down payment and the term of your loan also make a difference.

Let’s take a close look at auto loan rates for borrowers with credit scores between 640 and 649. 

Disclaimer: “Credit score” refers to the FICO score in this article.  If you have a different score (i.e. VantageScore), that does not likely equal your FICO.  For example, a 645 VantageScore could equal any FICO score… 643, 644, 645?  Who knows?  You can get your FICO score here.

New Car Interest Rates

Auto loans are secured: your vehicle serves as collateral for the loan. If you default, the lender can repossess the car. That makes your loan less risky, so interest rates are lower than they are for most unsecured loans.

The interest rate you are offered will depend heavily on your credit score. Here’s what you’ll pay, on average, with different credit scores. We’ll assume a new car costing $30,000, a $3000 down payment, and a 48-month loan term.

Credit Score Interest Rate Monthly Payment Total Interest Paid
300-50014.66%$746.69$8,845.92
501-60010.81%$695.34$6,376.32
601-6606.64%$642.05$3,818.40
661-7803.54%$604.09$1,996.32
781-8502.41%$590.61$1,349.28

Data from NerdWallet’s Car Loan Calculator

As you can see, your credit score has a huge impact on the interest rate you’re offered and on the cost of your loan. With a score of 640 to 649, you are squarely in the middle of the range.

If your score is 645, you might consider trying to bump that score up a little before applying for a car loan. A 16-point gain could save you almost $40 per month; over $1800 over the life of the loan!

Your Loan Term Affects Your Monthly Payment

For many people, the size of their monthly payment is the key to affordability. Let’s look at how loan terms affect monthly payments for different credit scores in our target range.

Credit Score

3 Year

(36 months)

5 Year

(60 months)

7 Year

(84 months)

640

$829

$530

$403

641

$829

$530

$403

642

$829

$530

$403

643

$829

$530

$403

644

$829

$530

$403

645

$829

$530

$403

646

$829

$530

$403

647

$829

$530

$403

648

$829

$530

$403

649

$829

$530

$403

All amounts assume a $30,000 car with a $300 down payment at a 6.64% interest rate.
The loan terms included in this chart are for 3 years (36 months), 5 years (60 months), and 7 years (84 months). However, speak to your lender about additional loan options for new, used, or refinancing.  Don’t forget to ask about their auto loan payment terms that cover; 1 year (12 months), 2 years (24 months), 4 years (48 months), 6 years (72 months), 8 years (96 months), 9 years (108 months), and 10 years (120 months).

As you can see, the loan term has a large impact on monthly payments. Small differences in your credit score do not: all the scores in our target range have the same rate and the same payments.

Long-term car loans provide a lower monthly payment, but they have real disadvantages. You will pay more total interest and you may owe more than your car is worth for much of your loan term. Look into the issues around long-term car loans before you decide!

Compare New Car Rates →

on AutoCreditExpress.com

Estimated Monthly Payments for Other New Car Loan Amounts (10k – 30k)

New Auto Loan Amount

3 Year 

(36 months)

5 Year

(60 months)

7 Year

(84 months)

$10,000

$307.13

$196.32

$149.17

$15,000

$460.69

$294.48

$223.76

$20,000

$614.26

$392.64

$298.35

$25,000

$767.82

$490.79

$372.93

$30,000

$921.38

$588.95

$447.52

Sample Quote For Credit Scores Of 640, 641, to 646, & 648: Assumes $2,000 down payment.  Scores sourced from Nerd Wallet site and are accurate as of 26/08/21.  All loan payment amounts are based on a new car loan APR interest rate of 6.64% for non-prime borrowers with a credit score of 600 to 660.  The loan terms included in this chart are for 3 years (36 months), 5 years (60 months), and 7 years (84 months). Speak to your lender about additional loan options for new, used, or refinancing. Don’t forget to ask about their car loan payment terms that cover; 1 year (12 months), 2 years (24 months), 4 years (48 months), 6 years (72 months), 8 years (96 months), 9 years (108 months), and 10 years (120 months). This is not an offer for a loan or a loan approval. Rates and stipulations change by state, income, credit score, and a variety of other factors. For informational purposes only.

Used Automobile Rates and Payments – 640 to 649 Credit Score

I think a lot of people wonder what a good interest rate is on a used car.

We see incredible offers online and on TV for new car loan rates but, now that I think about it, I don’t think I ever see used auto rates advertised. In general, borrowers will pay a higher interest rate for a used car loan.

Rates are higher for used cars because their value is lower. If the lender has to repossess your car it may be difficult for them to sell it for enough to cover your balance. That means more risk to the lender. Lenders charge higher rates when their risk rises.

Even with higher interest rates, used cars can be a good deal, simply because the sticker price is often much lower than the price of a used car.

⚠️ Be Careful!
Buying a used car has its risks. That’s why you want to always check the vehicle’s history. You can run a vehicle history report on sites like Carfax with the vehicle’s Vin number. If the dealer or seller will not give you the Vin #, consider this a major red flag and move on to another vehicle.

With a credit score of 640-649, you should qualify for a non-prime APR rate, which will be higher than someone with a 700 or 800 credit score. The average rate for a used car loan in this range is 10.43%

Used Auto Loan Amount

3 Year 

(36 months)

5 Year

(60 months)

7 Year

(84 months)

$10,000

$324

$214

$168

$15,000

$486

$321

$252

$20,000

$649

$428

$336

$25,000

$811

$535

$419

$30,000

$973

$642

$503

Sample Quote For Credit Scores Of 641, 642, to 646, & 647: Assumes $2,000 down payment.  Scores sourced from Nerd Wallet site and are accurate as of 6/12/19.  All loan payment amounts are based on a used car loan APR interest rate of 10.43% for non-prime borrowers with a credit score of 600 to 660.  The loan terms included in this chart are for 3 years (36 months), 5 years (60 months), and 7 years (84 months). Speak to your lender about additional loan options, including mortgage loan terms that cover; 1 year (12 months), 2 years (24 months), 4 years (48 months), 6 years (72 months), 8 years (96 months), 9 years (108 months), and 10 years (120 months). This is not an offer for a loan or a loan approval. Rates and stipulations change by state, income, credit score, and a variety of other factors. For informational purposes only.

Compare Used Car Rates →

on AutoCreditExpress.com

You can see the impact of the higher rates. The difference, of course, is that the average sale price of a new car in the US is $39,960, while the average price of a used car is $22,000. That’s a big difference!

Top Auto Refinance Rates

Say you have a credit score of 640 or 649. You can qualify to refinance with this score!

If you had a lower credit score when you took out your car loan or if you financed your car through a dealer and didn’t get a great deal, you could save money by refinancing.

Do not apply for a refinance car loan if your credit score is lower than it was when you got your original loan.

Refinancing may be able to lower your monthly payment and put that extra saved interest right into your pocket. 

If you refinance with a longer term you could lower your monthly payment considerably. You will pay more in interest and you may end up owing more than your car is worth.

Refinance rates are usually the same as rates for a loan taken at the time of sale, so the figures quoted above will apply.

Compare Refinancing Rates →

on AutoCreditExpress.com

Who has the Best Auto Loan Rates? Credit Unions, Banks, or Online Lenders?

Trying to figure out who has the best auto loan rates can feel like an impossible task.

It is natural to want to use your local Credit Union or Bank because you feel loyalty to the financial institution that you trust with your monthly banking needs.

In some instances, going directly through your Credit Union or Bank can be your best bet for the lowest interest rates. Your bank or credit union knows your finances and may consider information other than your credit score when they make an offer.

However, local Credit Unions and Banks may be limited in the loan programs they can offer. They may not be able to compete with the lowest online auto loan rates.

You also have to consider the time it takes to go to your local financial institution to obtain a quote for an auto loan. Online lenders may give you a quote in seconds.

⚠️ Be Careful!
Be careful if you get an auto loan from a Credit Union or Bank that you have a checking, savings, or CD account with. Some financial institutions require you to sign a document allowing them to take payment without your permission if you do not pay.

In comparison, you can obtain four loan offers within two minutes of filling out a short, one-page application with Auto Credit Express.

Even if you decide to see what your Bank or Credit Union has to offer, getting an online lender quote is free and takes next to no time.

Best Auto Loan Lenders in 2021

Compare multiple auto lenders at one time, pick the best option, and get approved for your loan.

Compare Rates

Purchasing a car can be a stressful endeavor because of all the decisions you must make with that ‘helpful’ high-pressure car salesman stuck to your hip.  

A great way to help alleviate some of that pressure and stress is by getting pre-approved for an auto loan long before you walk onto the car dealership lot.

Many people do not realize that they do not have to use the dealership’s financing options. Dealer financing is often the most expensive option.

In fact, according to U.S. News:

Having the entire car-buying process neatly bundled into one transaction…makes purchasing easy. However, it’s a horrible way to buy a car if you want to get a good deal. It’s a common dealer trick to keep you focused solely on the monthly payment while they manipulate the trade-in value, vehicle price, and car loan terms. In most cases, they make a significant portion of their profit on the sale by marking up the cost of the car loans you are offered.

The one thing you should always do to get the best rate is to apply with more than one lender. Borrowers who shop around consistently get better rates than borrowers who take the first deal they are offered. Getting pre-approved by several lenders gives you confidence that you are getting the best deal you can.

Be sure to keep your applications within a 15-day window. The credit bureaus will recognize that you are shopping and record only a single hard inquiry. Multiple hard inquiries can harm your credit!

4 Non-Credit Factors that Affect Your Monthly Payment

Multiple factors play a role in determining a good auto rate for new, used, and refinance loans. 

Whatever your credit score, these five non-credit score-related factors will affect your monthly car or truck payment. 

1. Income & Debt-to-Income Ratio

Lenders will want to make sure that you have enough money to pay your vehicle loan each month. 

To determine this, they look at how much income you make each month and how much are your expenses. 

They used the word, debt, instead of expenses, and call the combination of the two, your debt-to-income ratio. 

Most lenders like to see your debt-to-income (DTI) around 40% including your new monthly auto payment. 

3 Steps To Calculate Debt-To-Income Ratio

  1. Add up all of your monthly bills including rent, car payments, student loans, utilities, etc.
  2. Divide your total monthly bills by your total monthly income
  3. The resulting number is your debt-to-income ratio

👉 For example:
If I have $5,000 in monthly income and $2,000 in monthly expenses and I divided the monthly expenses 2k by monthly income 5k, I would have a 40% DTI. 

You can use our debt-to-income ratio calculator to find your DTI.

2. Employment

Lenders want to lend money to people with steady incomes. 

The most common way borrowers show that they have a consistent income is by the length of time they have been employed at one location. 

People who jump from job to job regularly are not considered to have a steady income. 

3. Down Payment

When you purchase a new or used car or truck you are going to have to make a down payment. Lenders may give you a better interest rate if can make a large down payment.

It doesn’t matter whether you have a 775 credit score or a 647.

Lenders want to make sure that you have some skin in the game and generally prefer to see you make a 20% down payment on the purchase of a new car. Some lenders will lend with no down payment, but you may need a high credit score. You may also find that the terms of the loan are not desirable.

Used vehicles don’t depreciate their value as fast as a new automobile and because of this, lenders usually only ask consumers to make a 10% down payment on a used car.

If you have a trade-in you can apply the value of your previous vehicle to the down payment. 

Lenders do not typically ask for a down payment on a refinance loan. 

Ways to Reduce Your Auto Loan Interest Rate

With a credit score between 640 and 649, you are going to qualify for non-prime loans at a much higher interest rate than if you were able to increase your credit score to 700+.

Because you are so close to receiving prime credit score rates it may make sense to consider spending 30, 60, or 90 days building your credit.

The time and money spent would put you in a lower risk bracket and open the doors to much more financial freedom and better opportunities.

Another option to get a vehicle loan with a lower interest rate would be to ask a family member to co-sign on the loan.

The co-signer would become the primary borrower and you would be the secondary borrower.

They would be responsible for making the payments on the loan if you failed to do so, but you would qualify for an auto loan based on their credit score and not yours.

If you know someone with a good credit score, it may not hurt to ask them to be your co-signer.  Be sure that both you and your co-signer understand the responsibilities of each party.

Disclaimers: Annual Percentage Rates (APR), loan term, and monthly payments are estimated based on analysis of information provided by you, data provided by lenders, and publicly available information. All loan information is presented without warranty, and the estimated APR and oter terms are not binding in any way. Lenders provide loans with a range of APRs depending on borrowers’ credit and other factors. Keep in mind that only borrowers with excellent credit will qualify for the lowest rate available. Your actual APR will depend on factors like credit score, requested loan amount, loan term, and credit history. All loans are subject to credit review and approval. Discrimination based on gender is absolutely forbidden. Whether the loan is for her or for him, you should receive the same terms.