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Best Car Loans in Detroit, MI

Aug. 26, 2019, 5:03 p.m.

Picking out a new car is exciting. Navigating through auto loan options is not. In the Motor City, choosing the right car loan is part of the equation to ensure a great buying experience. Our partners at ConsumerAffairs researched the best car loans in Detroit to reduce the stress of buying a new vehicle.

Everyone deserves to make thoughtful, informed purchase decisions. The local guides provided on this website are free for consumers. WXYZ may receive compensation from our partners. Learn more.

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#1
RECOMMENDED
LightStream

Loans for practically anything!

#1 MOST POPULAR
LightStream
LightStream
Features
  • Apply online
  • Loans from $5,000 - $100,000
  • Same-day funding available
  • Available in Detroit
Read More
Location
Services available in
Detroit, MI
No phone available
#2
Auto Approve
Auto Approve
Features
  • Individual loan consultants
  • Online loan calculator
  • Application approval in minutes
  • Available in Detroit
Read More
Location
Services available in
Detroit, MI
(844) 946-7334
#3
LendingTree
LendingTree
Features
  • Read lender reviews from other consumers
  • Compare rates from multiple lenders
  • Available in Detroit
  • Use the online auto loan calculator
Read More
Location
Services available in
Detroit, MI
(800) 555-8733
#4
myAutoloan.com
myAutoloan.com
Features
  • Online payment available
  • Lenders that fit your needs
  • Available in Detroit
  • Interest rate calculator online
Read More
Location
Services available in
Detroit, MI
(214) 540-3350
#5
Capital One
Capital One
Features
  • Check your loan status online
  • Available in Detroit
  • Over 12,000 eligible dealers
  • Auto loan calculators available
Read More
Location
Services available in
Detroit, MI
(800) 689-1789
One Detroit Credit Union
One Detroit Credit Union
Features
  • M, T: 9am - 5pm
  • W: 10am - 5pm
  • Th, F: 9am - 5pm
  • Closed Sat and Sun
  • onedetroitcu.org/vehicle-loans
Location
630 Howard St.
Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 965-8640
Michigan First Credit Union
Michigan First Credit Union
Features
  • M-Th: 8:30am - 5pm
  • F: 8:30am - 6pm
  • Closed Sat and Sun
  • michiganfirst.com
Location
27000 Evergreen Rd.
Lathrup Village, MI 48076
(800) 664-3828
Diversified Members Credit Union
Diversified Members Credit Union
Features
  • M-Th: 8:30am - 4:30pm
  • F: 8:30am - 6pm
  • Sat: 9am - 1pm
  • Closed Sun
  • dmcu.com/auto-loans
Location
1480 E. Jefferson Ave.
Detroit, MI 48207
(313) 568-5000
Direct Financial Credit Union
Direct Financial Credit Union
Features
  • M-W, F: 8:30am - 4:30pm
  • Th: 8am - 5pm
  • Closed Sat and Sun
  • directfinancial.com
Location
500 Lafayette E.
Detroit, MI 48226
(800) 966-8200

How to get an auto loan in Detroit

Detroit skyline

Detroit residents have plenty of auto loan options available. They’re available from banks, credit unions, dealerships and online lenders. Many people wait to arrange financing until after they choose a car, but getting a car loan before shopping has multiple advantages:

  • Sets a budget before shopping
  • Protects from dealer markups
  • Improves negotiation position
  • Makes it easier to avoid up-sales
  • Helps you get a better rate

By getting pre-approved from two to three lenders, you’ll be able to compare offers and choose one that works best for you.

Comparing auto loans in Detroit

Lenders in Detroit have different requirements to qualify for loans. In addition to credit score requirements, most lenders require long-term employment or consistent, dependable income. A hefty down payment or including a co-signer on your loan are options for improving your chance of being approved if you have poor credit.

Your credit score is the most significant factor in determining your annual percentage rate (APR). Detroit residents with excellent credit qualify for APRs between 3 and 5 percent, while those with poor credit receive loans with APRs in the low-to-mid teens.

Just a few points in the APR can make a significant difference. The table below shows the likely APR and monthly payments for a 60-month (five-year), $20,000 car loan based on credit score.

Monthly payments on a five-year loan for $20,000

Credit range Sample APR Monthly payment
720-850 3.60 $364.73
690-719 4.95 $376.97
660-689 7.02 $396.21
620-659 9.72 $422.19
590-619 14.06 $465.99
500-589 15.24 $478.32

Most car loans in Detroit are between three and seven years. Taking out longer loans lowers your monthly payments but increases the total cost of the loan because of additional accrued interest. The chart below shows the interest accrued on a $20,000 loan over multiple terms and with different APRs.

Interest accrued on $20,000 car loan

Sample APR 60-month 72-month 84-month
3.60 $1,883.88 $2,267.57 $2,655.56
4.95 $2,618.00 $3,157.72 $3,705.52
7.02 $3,772.76 $4,564.40 $5,372.13
9.72 $5,331.44 $6,474.33 $7,647.54
14.06 $7,959.24 $9718.55 $11,538.93
15.24 $8,699.31 $10,636.82 $12,645.18

The best way to get a low APR is to shop around and compare your best offers.

Fees and additional charges when purchasing a car in Detroit

When shopping for cars in Detroit, make sure your loan amount covers both the purchase price and any additional costs associated with the purchase, such as vehicle registration, car insurance and title transfer. Other possible charges and fees include:

  • Gap insurance: If you owe more on your vehicle than its value, gap insurance covers the difference. Lenders cannot require you to purchase gap insurance, but they can add it to your loan without notifying you.
  • Origination fees: Lenders charge origination fees to cover the cost of processing the loan. These can sometimes be negotiated down.
  • Document preparation fees: The dealership generally charges document fees to pay for preparing the car’s paperwork. In Michigan, document preparation fees are limited to 5 percent of the cash value of the vehicle, up to $210.
  • Finance markups: When you finance through a dealer, they can add a finance markup of up to 4 percent. For example, if you’re approved for an interest rate of 6.5 percent, the dealer can increase its profit by charging a markup rate of 8 percent.
  • Prepayment penalties: Paying off your loan early saves money on accrued interest, but lenders may charge you a penalty for doing so.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau offers handy tips and worksheets for finding the best auto loan and understanding which fines and fees are negotiable.

Michigan offers protections for consumers buying a used car through the state’s Auto Lemon Law and the ability to purchase the complete title and registration history for a vehicle for only $11.

LightStream

LightStream

LightStream deposits funds into your bank account so you can make a cash purchase at the dealership, saving you time, money and hassle. The company has an easy-to-use online platform, same-day funding, competitive rates and a promise to beat any qualified loan offer. Detroit customers say they appreciate how easy it was to get approved.

Auto Approve

Auto Approve

Auto Approve is perfect for anyone who has an existing auto loan with high rates or unfavorable terms. Auto Approve offers low-rate refinancing loans and a quick, simple and no-cost application process. Detroit residents praise the smooth process and say the company is willing to work with people with less-than-perfect credit.

LendingTree

LendingTree

LendingTree lets you submit a single application for your loan. The company collects the best offers and lets you compare them. LendingTree also has lender reviews, a car deals database and insurance quotes. Detroit customers say the process is efficient and easy, but some warn it resulted in hard credit checks without their approval.

Sponsored Ad

myAutoloan.com

myAutoloan.com

This lender offers new and used auto loans, refinancing, a two-minute offer form, up to four offers at once and money in your account in as little as 24 hours. Detroit borrowers report great service, smooth refinancing transitions and agents who take the necessary time to make sure you understand the offers and the process.

Capital One

Capital One

In addition to pre-approval, traditional loans and refinancing, Capital One has a great website, virtual services and educational materials. The company has a database of vehicles and dealers so you can find a car from the comfort of your home. Detroit customers say the company has competitive rates for those with good credit.

Our partners independently research and analyze the companies mentioned in our guides and work with subject matter experts to add valuable information that helps consumers make smart purchase decisions. Our partners will not include companies on these guides that do not meet specific quality standards. The compensation we receive from our partners may impact how and where companies appear on our site, including the order in which they appear.

Our partners independently research companies, and use editorial discretion to award companies with special recognition (i.e. Best Value) based on their staff’s judgement or subject matter expert’s judgement. Our partners do this to help you identify companies that will meet your specific buying needs, and do not receive compensation for these designations.