Ally, formerly known as Ally Clearlane, is an online auto refinancing lender. Ally Auto is a part of Ally Financial Inc., a larger financial services company that offers banking, mortgages, auto loans and more. The direct lender offers both auto loan refinancing and lease buyout loans with a simple pre-qualification check and a streamlined online application process.
Whether you’re starting to learn how to refinance a car or are already searching for the best auto refinance company, there are several important factors to consider when selecting a lender. In this Ally auto refinance review, we’ll look at how the lender’s services, rates and fees, available terms, customer satisfaction and accessibility stack up against the competition.
Continue reading to determine if an Ally auto refinance is right for you.
Best auto refinancing for no loan origination fees
Borrowers looking to cut down on auto refinance loan costs can take advantage of one of Ally’s biggest pros: The lender doesn’t charge an origination fee. Also known as a document fee, many lenders require borrowers to pay this cost for processing the loan. The rate can be as high as $499 with some direct lenders and lender marketplaces.
State-specific costs, such as registration and title change fees, will likely apply. This is standard across the auto refinance industry. However, Ally stands out among competitors for its no-fee loan origination.
Ally auto refinance pros and cons
- No fees for loan origination
- Co-borrowers permitted
- Pre-qualification without a hard credit check
- Accepts credit scores as low as 520
- Does not publicly list annual percentage rates
- Not available in all states
- Eligibility restricted to cars financed at least seven months prior
- No cash-out auto refinance
No fees for loan origination
Unlike many auto refinance lenders, Ally does not require borrowers to pay a loan origination fee, also called a document fee. Some lenders charge as much as $499, and this cost is added to the total amount of the loan. However, there are some fees, such as state taxes or DMV costs, that borrowers must pay. Still, Ally’s lack of an origination fee is a standout feature.
Having a co-borrower on your loan is often necessary if you have a lower credit score or don’t meet certain other requirements. By having someone else willing to take joint responsibility for the loan, lenders — including Ally — are more likely to approve you and offer better rates.
Pre-qualification without a hard credit check
When applying for an auto refinance loan, you’ll usually need to go through the same process as when you apply for a new car loan — this includes running a hard credit check. With Ally, you can receive pre-qualification with a soft credit check, which won’t negatively impact your credit score.
Accepts credit scores as low as 520
If you have poor credit, you can still apply for an auto loan with Ally, so long as your FICO score is at least 520. While the lowest available annual percentage rates are offered only to excellent credit borrowers, you may still see savings if your credit has improved since taking out your original auto loan.
Does not publicly list starting annual percentage rates
Unlike some auto refinance loan providers, Ally doesn’t provide starting annual percentage rates (APRs) on its website. To get an idea of a potential rate, borrowers must go through the pre-qualification process, which includes providing personal information to Ally.
Not available in all states
Ally auto refinancing isn’t available in Vermont, Nevada or Washington, D.C. If you have an auto loan in one of these locations, you’ll need to look for another auto refinance lender.
Vehicle must have been financed at least seven months prior
Ally will only originate auto refinance loans on vehicles financed at least seven months ago. Other lenders permit vehicles financed as recently as 30 days prior to an auto loan refinance.
No cash-out auto refinance
Cash-out auto refinance allows customers to borrow more than the original loan amount and keep the difference in funds. While many lenders offer cash-out refinance loans, Ally does not.
Ally auto refinance offerings
Ally Auto offers a variety of vehicle financing options, including auto refinancing loans, auto purchase loans, lease buyout loans, business vehicle financing, vehicle service contracts and vehicle protection plans.
To qualify for any of Ally’s auto financing options, you’ll need to meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Be at least 18 years old (19 in Alabama)
- Be a U.S. citizen, resident alien or non-resident alien who currently lives in the U.S.
- Earn at least $2,000 per month
- Have a FICO credit score of at least 520
Auto refinance loans
Ally offers auto refinance loans with repayment terms of 36 to 75 months. Loan amounts range from $5,000 to $100,000. The minimum credit score required to apply is 520.
However, other factors, such as specific debt-to-income requirements, are not disclosed. Ally doesn’t offer refinance loans in Nevada, Vermont or Washington, D.C. To determine if you’re eligible for an auto refinance loan with Ally, use the lender’s online pre-qualification form.
Note that Ally won’t refinance your vehicle if it:
- Has a branded title (fire, salvaged, flood, etc.)
- Has more than one lien
- Has unrepaired comprehensive or collision damage
- Was financed less than seven months ago
- Is primarily used for commercial or business purposes (e.g., taxi, delivery service, police vehicle, etc.)
- Is currently financed by Ally
According to Ally, customers who refinanced auto loans with the company in 2022 saved an average of $2,526 in interest and $129 in monthly payments, with 74% of customers saving on both interest and monthly payments.
Auto purchase loans
For auto purchase loans, Ally provides new and used car financing through a network of roughly 18,000 participating dealerships nationwide. Due to the inherently complex and variable nature of car financing, available rates and terms vary by dealership, location, car model and creditworthiness. To find a nearby dealer, enter your location and desired vehicle brand into Ally’s dealer locator tool.
Lease buyout loans
Ally also offers lease buyout loans, which can help you purchase your leased vehicle outright or convert your existing lease agreement into a financed purchase auto loan. If your current lease isn’t with Ally, you can apply for a lease buyout loan, and Ally will work with your leasing provider to complete the process. This service is offered in all states except:
- Washington, D.C.
- South Dakota
Business vehicle financing
Ally offers several different options for financing vehicles used for business purposes. Aside from traditional purchase financing for commercial-use vehicles, this also includes:
- ComTRAC: An open-ended lease under which your business is responsible for the residual value of the vehicle at the end of the term
- SmartLease: A closed-ended lease, which means your business is responsible for maintenance costs but not for the end-of-term residual value
- Specialty vehicle financing: Financing for vehicles and services tailored to specific industries and business needs (e.g., vans with mobility lifts)
- Heavy-duty truck financing: Financing for both new and used heavy-duty trucks and associated equipment
- Commercial line of credit: A business line of credit that can be used to help you develop your business’s fleet at your own pace
Vehicle service contracts
If you’re concerned about the cost of vehicle repairs and service maintenance, the Ally Auto Care service contract may be helpful. Ally promotes this service contract as a way to buffer yourself against potential rises in repair and maintenance costs. It comes with no deductible, is transferable if you sell your vehicle and covers services such as oil changes, tire rotations, fluid top-offs and chassis lubrication. The Ally Auto Care plan is available for standard and hybrid vehicles up to 20 years old.
Vehicle protection plans
Ally offers several vehicle protection plans, also called vehicle service contracts, that can be purchased with an auto loan refinance.
The products available in these plans include:
- Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP): In the event your car is totaled and insurance does not cover the full amount you own on your auto loan, GAP can help cover the difference
- Essential Guard: This extended coverage product includes parts essential to your car, such as transmission and brakes.
- Major Guard: The most comprehensive coverage available, Major Guard covers more than 7,5000 vehicle components and includes 24/7 roadside assistance and trip interruption coverage.
For new auto loans, Ally offers additional vehicle protection products. Availability of all vehicle protection plans varies by vehicle make/model, year and mileage.
Ally auto refinance pricing
Ally doesn’t disclose its starting APR rates on its website. To get an idea of the rates available to you through Ally auto refinance, you must apply for prequalification. However, the lender does make clear that it doesn’t charge an application fee or a documentation/loan origination fee.
Ally auto refinance financial stability
Ally Auto is a division of Ally Financial Inc., a financial services company that’s one of the largest U.S. auto financing businesses and the nation’s largest all-digital bank. Both Standard & Poor’s and Fitch, two major global credit rating agencies, have assigned a “BBB-” financial stability rating to the company.
This rating indicates that Ally Financial is considered a lower-medium investment-grade company with a reasonably adequate capacity to meet its financial commitments.
Ally auto refinance accessibility
Ally’s auto loan products vary in state availability depending on the specific product. The company’s auto refinance option is available in all states except Nevada, Vermont and Washington, D.C.
Existing customers and applicants can reach Ally via live chat by logging into their online accounts. You can also call the company Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. EST and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST at 1-888-925-2559.
Ally’s website is easy to navigate, with information about the company’s large variety of auto loan and auto refinancing products readily available. The site also features several helpful FAQ pages and quick links to connect with the company’s customer service team.
Ally offers pre-qualification using a soft credit check, which doesn’t require your Social Security number and will not affect your credit score. Once you’re pre-qualified, you can then review loan offers. Choose the best fit and apply, then Ally will begin fully processing the loan request, which requires a hard credit check.
Ally auto refinance customer satisfaction
There is a non-accredited Better Business Bureau (BBB) page for Ally Bank, which includes nearly 70 user-submitted reviews about a variety of Ally’s products. Many are negative and refer to problems making loan payments online, issues with fraud resolution and generally unsatisfactory customer service.
Based on these reviews, BBB calculates a rating of 1.15 out of 5 stars for Ally Bank. On another third-party review site, Ally has a rating of 1.5 out of 5 stars, based on 182 total reviews total, many of which mention the same issues seen on the BBB page.
Ally auto refinance FAQs
What is Ally Clearlane?
Is Ally Clearlane legit?
What are Ally's auto refinance rates?
Can I refinance at Ally Auto for a lower payment?
How we evaluated Ally auto refinance
To evaluate Ally Clearlane auto refinance, we looked at various factors ranging from customer satisfaction to available loan terms and eligibility requirements. The following are the most important criteria we used:
- Customer reviews: We looked at customer reviews from a variety of online sources to determine the overall satisfaction level with Ally’s services.
- Loan terms and conditions: We reviewed the various loan terms, eligibility requirements, fees and other factors related to refinancing an auto loan through Ally.
- Process overview: We also looked at the refinancing process with Ally to determine how seamless it was for customers.
- Availability: We examined how many states Ally’s auto refinance is available in.
Summary of Money’s Ally auto refinance review
Ally, formerly known as Ally Clearlane, stands out in the auto refinance industry because it doesn’t charge borrowers a loan origination fee, which can cost up to $499 with other lenders. Ally also accepts credit scores as low as 520 and offers a pre-qualification process that won’t negatively impact your credit score.
Additionally, Ally permits co-borrowers, which may improve your loan offer if the person you add has a strong credit history. However, annual percentage rates are not listed online, so borrowers must apply — which requires submitting personal information — to see potential APRs for an auto refinance loan.