Nashville’s public transit system is lackluster, and the majority of residents own at least one vehicle so they can get around the city conveniently. If you don’t have the funds to buy a car outright, a car loan covers the cost. ConsumerAffairs reviewed the top car loans in Nashville to help you find the right lender.
Music City residents have multiple options when it comes to obtaining a car loan. Numerous places around the city will work with you to fund the purchase of your next vehicle, including credit unions, banks, online lenders and car dealerships.
While it’s not required, getting pre-approved for a car loan offers several advantages throughout the buying process, such as:
Letting you decide your monthly payments before purchasing a car
Knowing what types of vehicles you can afford
Giving you leverage while negotiating car prices and fees
Getting a car loan in Nashville
Lenders have different requirements for qualifying for a car loan, but most require personal and financial information to show you can pay back the loan. Some things lenders may look at include:
Your credit score heavily influences the annual percentage rate (APR) of your loan, so it’s a good idea to check your credit score before applying. Nashville residents with credit scores lower than 580 usually receive APRs in the mid-to-high teens, while people with excellent credit scores typically pay 3 to 5 percent.
When applying for a loan, you'll also choose a repayment term. Most car dealerships and credit unions offer car loans of up to five years, although some lenders have six- and seven-year loans. Shorter loans incur less interest and are cheaper overall but have higher monthly payments.
You can also choose how much you plan on paying upfront as a down payment. A more substantial down payment reduces the total you owe on the car, letting you shorten the term of your loan or make lower monthly payments.
Other expenses when purchasing a car in Nashville
When deciding the amount of your loan and how much you can spend on a car, be sure to account for additional fees or costs. In addition to any fees charged by your dealership, you need to have money on hand for car insurance, state registration fees and the vehicle’s sales tax. In Tennessee, certain situations may qualify you to be exempt from paying state sales tax.
Getting a car loan with bad credit in Nashville
If you have bad credit, there are still ways to obtain a car loan. First, ask a trusted relative or friend if they will co-sign your loan. This alleviates some of the risks for the lender, but your co-signer is responsible for your loan if you default. Some institutions, such as online lenders, work with those who have less than desirable credit scores.
LightStream is the online lending division of SunTrust Banks. Their website allows approved customers to select a funding date, and the company can deposit funds into your account on the same day. Customers can receive loans for $5,000 to $100,000. Nashville customer reviews praise the easy-to-understand and rapid approval process.
Auto Approve enables customers to refinance their car loans for lower interest rates by applying instantly on the company’s website. The company has a wide network of lenders across the country, enabling customers to receive the best loan for their needs. Reviews from Kansas City discuss fast service and knowledgeable representatives.
LendingTree is an online lending platform that allows interested customers to compare auto loans from multiple lenders. The free service offers tools such as payment calculators, lender reviews and the most recent deals on cars. Nashville customers appreciate the helpful staff, but some users report spam calls after using the company’s comparison tools.
myAutoLoan.com enables visitors to compare up to four offers at once on loans for new or used cars. Customers can use the interest rate estimator and payment calculator tools to identify the best car loan for their needs. Nashville customers praise the smooth application process, but some note a lack of communication from lenders.
Capital One customers can accomplish a lot using the company’s car loan tools. Nashville customers can search for new and used cars, get pre-qualified for loans, use auto loan calculators and research eligible dealers all from one platform. Local reviewers appreciate the website’s easy-to-use features, but some users say they received lower rates elsewhere.