1. Home
  2. Car Loans

Best Car Loans in Baltimore, MD

Aug. 15, 2019, 8:17 p.m.

Don’t let finding an auto loan put the brakes on your car buying experience. Knowing where and how much to apply for in advance saves time and money and reduces the stress of purchasing a vehicle. Our partners at ConsumerAffairs researched the best car loans in Baltimore to help you qualify for the best rates.

Everyone deserves to make thoughtful, informed purchase decisions. The local guides provided on this website are free for consumers. WMAR 2 News may receive compensation from our partners. Learn more.

Powered by
×
#1
RECOMMENDED
LightStream

Loans for practically anything!

#1 MOST POPULAR
LightStream
LightStream
Features
  • Funds deposited directly to your account
  • Loans from $5,000 - $100,000
  • Visit website for customer service
  • Available in Baltimore
Read More
Location
Services available in
Baltimore, MD
No phone available
#2
Auto Approve
Auto Approve
Features
  • Individual loan consultants
  • Online loan calculator
  • Apply online
  • Available in Baltimore
Read More
Location
Services available in
Baltimore, MD
(844) 946-7334
#3
LendingTree
LendingTree
Features
  • Read lender reviews from other consumers
  • Compare rates from multiple lenders
  • Available in Baltimore
  • Compare prices & coverage
Read More
Location
Services available in
Baltimore, MD
(800) 555-8733
#4
myAutoloan.com
myAutoloan.com
Features
  • Online payment available
  • Find your perfect lender
  • Available in Baltimore
  • Interest rate calculator online
Read More
Location
Services available in
Baltimore, MD
(214) 540-3350
#5
Capital One
Capital One
Features
  • Check your loan status online
  • Available in Baltimore
  • Over 12,000 eligible dealers
  • Auto loan calculators available
Read More
Location
Services available in
Baltimore, MD
(800) 689-1789
Point Breeze Credit Union
Point Breeze Credit Union
Features
  • M-Th: 9am - 5pm
  • F: 9am - 6pm
  • Sat: 9am - 1pm
  • Closed Sun
  • pbcu.com/personal/borrowing/auto-loans
Location
2 Philadelphia Ct.
Baltimore, MD 21237
(410) 584-7228
BB&T
BB&T
Features
  • M-F: 9am - 5pm
  • Sat: 9am - 12pm
  • Closed Sun
  • bbt.com/lending/auto-loans/default.page
Location
3805 Boston St.
Baltimore, MD 21224
(443) 873-4660
PNC Bank
PNC Bank
Features
  • M-F: 9am - 5pm
  • Closed Sat and Sun
  • pnc.com
Location
1 E. Pratt St., Ste. 100
Baltimore, MD 21202
(410) 237-5505
M&T Bank
M&T Bank
Features
  • M-Th: 9am - 5pm
  • F: 9am - 6pm
  • Sat: 9am - 1pm
  • Closed Sun
  • mtb.com/mortgages-loans/auto-loans
Location
8200 Harford Rd.
Baltimore, MD 21234
(410) 277-7445
Arundel Federal Savings Bank
Arundel Federal Savings Bank
Features
  • M-F: 9am - 3pm
  • Closed Sat and Sun
  • arundelfederal.com/personal/lending/#new-automobiles-and-trucks
Location
333 E. Patapsco Ave., Ste. 1827
Baltimore, MD 21225
(410) 355-9300
MECU of Baltimore
MECU of Baltimore
Features
  • M-Th: 8:30am - 4:30pm
  • F: 8:30am - 5:30pm
  • Closed Sat and Sun
  • mecu.com/Loans-Credit-Cards/vehicle-loans
Location
301 E. Baltimore St.
Baltimore, MD 21202
(410) 752-8313
Baltimore County Employees Federal Credit Union
Baltimore County Employees Federal Credit Union
Features
  • M-F: 9am - 4:30pm
  • Closed Sat and Sun
  • bcefcu.com/auto-loans/auto-loan-rates
Location
6535 N. Charles St., Ste. 145
Baltimore, MD 21204
(410) 828-4730

How to get an auto loan in Baltimore

skyline

When it comes to auto loans, the lender market in Baltimore is extensive. National banks, local credit unions, car dealerships and online lenders give consumers a variety of choices. Finding lenders is easy. The process of finding the right one and getting approved is a bit trickier.

Getting approved for a loan before car shopping is one way to make the experience more straightforward. You can be approved online, by phone or in person. Getting pre-approved for a loan lets you:

  • Compare multiple loans
  • Set a budget before shopping
  • Negotiate the price of a car as a cash buyer
  • Shop at any dealership

If you have the time, get pre-approved by two or three lenders for a clear picture of your financing options.

Getting approved for a car loan in Baltimore

The three main factors in getting approved for a car loan in Baltimore are your credit history, the amount of your down payment and the vehicle being financed. Older vehicles and cars with high mileage are not considered financeable because they pose a higher risk to the lender. People are more likely to default on their loan if the vehicle has a major breakdown.

Other factors lenders in Baltimore may take into consideration are your income and expenses, employment history, the loan term and liquid assets. To qualify for most loans, all you need is a good credit score and proof of residency, income and insurance. Making a more significant down payment generally increases your chance of being approved for a loan.

Knowing your credit score before applying for loans lets you understand the annual percentage rate (APR) you’re likely to receive. Most lenders consider credit scores of 670 to 739 to be good. Scores higher than 740 are considered very good or exceptional.

Comparing car loans in Baltimore

When comparing loan offers, pay attention to the total cost of the loan, which is determined by your annual percentage rate (APR), loan terms and down payment.

  • APR: The higher your credit score, the lower the APR lenders offer you. Car buyers with excellent credit receive loans with APRs between 3 and 5 percent. Baltimore residents with bad credit or no credit history receive loans between 12 to 18 percent or higher.
  • Down payment: While many loans may not require a down payment, paying more money upfront on your car lets you reduce your monthly payments and the length of your loan by letting you finance less of the purchase price.
  • Fees and taxes: Your lender or dealership may charge fees that increase the total price of the vehicle. You also need to be sure your loan amount is enough to cover state sales tax, title and registration fees and the cost of your car insurance.
  • Loan term: Most auto loans in Baltimore are paid off between 36 and 60 months, though some lenders offer terms up to seven years. Extended loans reduce your monthly payments but increase the total cost of the loan by accruing more interest.

Just a few points on your APR or an additional year on your loan have a significant impact on the total loan cost. The following table compares estimated interest rates by credit score and total interest paid on a $23,000 loan over five-, six- and seven-year terms.

Estimated interest rates and total interest on a $23,000 loan

Estimated interest rate (credit score) Total interest paid over 5-year term Total interest paid over 6-year term Total interest paid over 7-year term
3.6 (720-850) $2,166.46 $2,607.7 $3,053.89
4.95 (690-719) $3,010.70 $3,631.38 $4,261.34
7.02 (660-689) $4,338.68 $5,249.06 $6,177.95
9.72 (620-659) $6,131.16 $7,445.48 $8,794.67
14.06 (590-619) $9,153.13 $11,176.33 $13,269.77
15.24 (500-589) $10,004.21 $12,232.34 $14,541.95

If you opt for a smaller loan, interest can still rack up to the thousands if you have a high APR or extended loan term. The following table compares the same estimated interest rates by credit score and interest paid on a $13,000 loan over five-, six- and seven-year terms.

Estimated interest rates and total interest on a $13,000 loan

Estimated interest rate (credit score) Total interest paid over 5-year term Total interest paid over 6-year term Total interest paid over 7-year term
3.6 (720-850) $1,224.52 $1,473.92 $1,726.11
4.95 (690-719) $1,701.70 $2,052.52 $2,408.59
7.02 (660-689) $2,452.30 $2,966.86 $3,491.88
9.72 (620-659) $3,465.44 $4,208.31 $4,970.90
14.06 (590-619) $5,173.51 $6,317.06 $7,500.30
15.24 (500-589) $5,654.55 $6,913.93 $8,219.36

Even with a smaller loan amount, you pay more than $8,000 in interest in just seven years with a rate of 15 percent or more.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau offers great resources for comparing loan terms, learning about all your options, understanding which fees are negotiable and providing tips for closing the deal.

Don’t forget to visit the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration online or stop in a local MVA branch to get your documents in order before the purchase is finalized.

Getting a car loan with bad credit in Baltimore

When your credit score is low, getting a loan with good rates in Baltimore can seem challenging. There are multiple options, however, and many online lenders specialize in working with borrowers with bad credit or no credit history. Putting down a significant down payment can not only help you qualify for a loan but help lower the high APRs offered to borrowers with poor credit.

If it’s possible, get a co-signer with good credit. Their score lets you qualify for a loan and opens the door for a lower APR, but your co-signer is responsible for the loan if you default.

If your credit score is in rough shape, putting the purchase off for a year to focus on rebuilding your credit can save you thousands over the course of an auto loan, especially if the terms of the loan exceed five years. If you’re unable to wait, most Baltimore lenders let you refinance your loan after six months to a year if you qualify for better rates.

LightStream

LightStream

LightStream which offers an easy-to-navigate website, same-day funding deposited in your account, low rates and a promise to beat any qualified rate. The company also provides a loan rate calculator. Baltimore customers say LightStream has an easy application process and great rates, but some people note the lender has high requirements for qualification.

Auto Approve

Auto Approve

Auto Approve helps Baltimore residents paying off auto loans with high rates or unfavorable terms. The lender offers a quick and easy approval process and low rates, and it doesn’t charge an application fee. Baltimore customers appreciate how Auto Approve helps make the process hassle-free with constant communication by text or email.

LendingTree

LendingTree

LendingTree is an online loan broker that provides lender reviews, access to a car deals database and the ability to compare multiple offers at once. Baltimore car buyers report the process of collecting offers is simple and straightforward, but some borrowers report that they ended up not qualifying for offers they received.

myAutoloan.com

myAutoloan.com

myAutoloan.com offers transparency, convenience and efficiency in the borrowing process. The company has a two-minute application and a quick approval process, and it allows you to see up to four offers at once. Baltimore customers say myAutoloan.com is convenient and fast, but some people report excessive calls from lenders after applying.

Capital One

Capital One

Capital One offers loans for new and used vehicles as well as refinancing options. They also have a well-designed website that includes a vehicle database for finding cars at dealerships that accept your Capital One pre-approval. Baltimore customers appreciate the company’s easy-to-use website and many online tools and resources.

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.