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Best Car Loans in Waco, TX

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

Most Americans need a car loan to buy a vehicle, but the process can be daunting. You need to know your credit score, what you can afford and how to compare offers to find the best lender for you. Our partners at ConsumerAffairs researched the best car loans in Waco to help find the lowest rates and most affordable terms for your vehicle purchase.

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

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#1
Recommended
LightStream

Apply online today!

#1 MOST POPULAR
LightStream
LightStream
Features
  • Apply online
  • Loans from $5,000 - $100,000
  • Deposits funds directly to your account
  • Available in Waco
Read More
Location
Services available in
Waco, TX
No phone available
#2
Auto Approve
Auto Approve
Features
  • Individual loan consultants
  • Online loan calculator
  • Apply online
  • Available in Waco
Read More
Location
Services available in
Waco, TX
(844) 946-7334
#3
LendingTree
LendingTree
Features
  • Read lender reviews from other consumers
  • Compare rates from multiple lenders
  • Available in Waco
  • Online auto loan calculator
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Location
Services available in
Waco, TX
(800) 555-8733
#4
myAutoloan.com
myAutoloan.com
Features
  • Online payment available
  • Find your perfect lender
  • Available in Waco
  • Interest rate calculator online
Read More
Location
Services available in
Waco, TX
(214) 540-3350
#5
CapitalOne
CapitalOne
Features
  • Online payment available
  • View your credit score
  • Available in Waco
  • See if you're prequalified
Read More
Location
Services available in
Waco, TX
(214) 540-3350
Extraco Banks
Extraco Banks
Features
  • M-F: 9am - 5pm
  • Sat: 9am - 12pm
  • Closed Sun
  • extracobanks.com
Location
200 Hewitt Dr.
Waco, TX 76712
(254) 761-2000
First Central Credit Union
First Central Credit Union
Features
  • M-F: 9am - 5:30pm
  • Sat: 9am - 1pm
  • Closed Sun
  • firstcentralcu.com
Location
6201 Sanger Ave.
Waco, TX 76710
(254) 776-9333
Educators Credit Union
Educators Credit Union
Features
  • M-F: 9am - 6pm
  • Closed Sat and Sun
  • edcu.com
Location
100 Bolling Dr.
Waco, TX 76705
(254) 799-8946
McLennan County Employees FCU
McLennan County Employees FCU
Features
  • M-F: 8am - 4:30pm
  • Closed Sat and Sun
  • mclennancountyefcu.com
Location
215 N. 5th St., Ste. 224
Waco, TX 76701
(254) 757-5015
GENCO Federal Credit Union
GENCO Federal Credit Union
Features
  • M-F: 9am - 6pm
  • Sat: 9am - 1pm
  • Closed Sun
  • gencofcu.org
Location
731 N. Valley Mills Dr.
Waco, TX 76710
(254) 776-9550
Bank of America Financial Center
Bank of America Financial Center
Features
  • M-Th: 9am - 4pm
  • F: 9am - 6pm
  • Sat: 9am - 1pm
  • Closed Sun
  • locators.bankofamerica.com
Location
401 Hewitt Dr.
Waco, TX 76712
(254) 750-3200
Members Choice Credit Union
Members Choice Credit Union
Features
  • M-F: 9am - 6pm
  • Sat: 9am - 12pm
  • Closed Sun
  • choicefcu.com
Location
4631 W. Waco Dr.
Waco, TX 76710
(254) 776-7070

How to get an auto loan in Waco

Waco skyline

Purchasing a car is expensive. In the U.S., around 85 percent of new vehicles and 53 percent of used cars are bought with auto loans. In 2017, 107 million U.S. residents had car loans.

Many different companies in Waco offer auto loans — you can choose to finance one through a bank, credit union, dealership or online lender. Many of these lenders offer preapproval for loans, which allows you to search and qualify for loan offers before shopping for a car. Getting pre-approved for a loan has multiple advantages:

  • Allows you to compare loans: By setting aside time to apply for financing before shopping for a car, you have an opportunity to compare different loans and rates to get the best deal.
  • Sets a budget: Qualifying for financing lets you know your spending limit and helps narrow your search for a new car. Most lenders have car loan calculators so you can compare monthly payments for a variety of loans.
  • Gives you leverage at the dealership: Getting pre-approved for an amount lets you act as a cash buyer and negotiate for the total price of the car instead of haggling over monthly payments.

You should get a pre-approval from several lenders to find the best offer. Most lenders in Waco do soft credit pulls when pre-approving loans, so your credit shouldn’t be affected. If you’re working with lenders that do hard credit pulls, keep your shopping to less than two weeks. If done within 14 days, multiple credit checks only count as one hard pull.

Qualifying for a car loan in Waco

Every lender in Waco has different requirements for auto loans, but most require the same information. This includes employment information, income and credit score. Lenders use this information to decide if you qualify, your annual percentage rate (APR) and maximum loan amount.

Your ability to qualify for a car loan and the rates you receive are primarily based on your credit score, though lenders also consider your income. The average new car buyer has a credit score of 714, and the average score for someone purchasing a used vehicle is 655. Higher credit scores lead to lower interest rates on your car loan.

Comparing car loans in Waco

The best way to compare car loans in Waco is to look at the total cost instead of the monthly payments. Shorter loan terms and more substantial down payments help reduce the amount you pay over the life of the loan.

The following chart shows some common things to look for when comparing loan offers.

What to know when comparing auto loan offers in Waco

Term Definition Additional info What else to know
Annual percentage rate (APR) Total interest rate + lender fees 3 - 15% APR is set by the lender based on your credit score.
Loan term Length of time given to pay off loan 36 - 84 months Longer terms lead to lower monthly payments but increase the overall loan cost.
Down payment Initial upfront cash amount you pay toward the cost of your car Usually decided by borrower; buyers with bad credit may need to make a larger down payment More substantial down payments reduce your monthly payments and lower the total loan cost.
Taxes + fees Additional fees to purchase the car (may or may not be included in the total loan purchase)
  • Sales tax
  • Documentation fees
  • Title and registration fees
Be sure your total loan amount also covers any upfront costs you may be expected to pay.

Be sure your total loan amount also covers any upfront costs you may be expected to pay.

Getting a car loan with bad credit in Waco

Purchasing a car with bad credit in Waco is frustrating but not impossible. Many online lenders specialize in working with car buyers with bad credit or no credit history, but you can expect to pay higher interest rates or make a more substantial down payment. If you can wait on buying a car, saving for a down payment or improving your credit score helps you qualify for a better APR.

You can also ask a relative or friend with strong credit to co-sign your loan. This is a legally binding agreement stating your co-signer promises to pay the loan if you default, which reduces the lender’s risk and allows you to use your co-signer’s credit history to qualify for a loan with a better APR.

LightStream

LightStream

LightStream has a convenient online application and provides auto loan calculators to help decide what you can afford. The lender promises to beat any qualified APR offer by 0.10 percentage points and offers a $100 guarantee you’ll be satisfied with your experience with LightStream. Waco customers praise the company’s customer service.

Auto Approve

Auto Approve

AutoApprove offers refinancing options to help current loan holders lower their monthly payments and interest rates. With the company’s online application process, you are connected to specialized loan consultants who find and secure refinancing offers. Waco residents appreciate how the company’s representatives walked them through every step of the process.

LendingTree

LendingTree

LendingTree’s online payment calculator lets you figure out how much you can afford before ever searching for a loan. LendingTree uses your application information to find rates from multiple lenders and compare them to find the best option. Reviews from Waco recommend the company for its simple and streamlined loan process.

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myAutoloan.com

myAutoloan.com

myAutoloan.com lets you compare loan offers from up to four lenders in a matter of minutes, saving you time and hassle. The company offers loans for new and used vehicles and also has refinancing options. Customers from Waco appreciate the ability to compare multiple loans and say the application process is easy and convenient.

CapitalOne

CapitalOne

CapitalOne is a national bank that offers new and used car loans, refinancing options and lease buyouts. With the lender’s Auto Navigator tool, you can be pre-qualified in minutes and compare rates on cars available for purchase in Waco. Local reviews appreciate CapitalOne’s easy-to-use website and helpful online tools.

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.