If you’re looking for vehicle financing, you might be interested in an auto loan from Ally Bank. They’re one of the biggest auto lenders in the U.S., but are they any good? This article includes some must-know facts about their auto loans as well as Ally auto finance reviews from customers.
Ally offers three different auto loan products; personal, business and RVs. In respect of their personal vehicle financing, customers can choose from four different options as follows:
- Buy – includes flexible terms for virtually any budget.
- Ally SmartLease® – has shorter financing terms so you can drive a new vehicle more often.
- Ally Buyer’s Choice® – gives you the choice of continuing your regular lease payments or selling your vehicle to Ally after 48 or 60 months. (This option isn’t available in Nevada).
- Ally Balloon Advantage℠ – keeps your monthly repayments low by attaching a balloon payment to the end of your contract. (Not available in Maryland, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.)
Ally monthly car payment calculator
On Ally’s website, you can use their car payment calculator to give you an idea of how much a new or used car might cost you per month, based on the vehicle’s value and the APR/term you’re hoping to get.
Your credit score will affect the APR you’re likely to be offered. If you click on the “Not sure?” link next to the APR box on Ally’s calculator, you’ll see a list of average APRs for both new and used cars, based on different credit scores.
What people are saying about Ally auto loans
On sites like Consumer Affairs, Credit Karma, Yelp and the BBB, many of the reviews about Ally auto loans are mixed, with Ally’s customer service leaving a bad aftertaste for some. Several reviews mentioned that getting a problem resolved wasn’t made easy due to the poor customer service received.
As an example, one reviewer had his vehicle repossessed while going through a divorce. He called Ally to try to get his vehicle back and paid the amount requested. It took over ten hours on the phone and more than a week afterwards to get his vehicle back.
Another customer complained about Ally’s unhelpful customer service after he paid his loan off in full and on time when he got his first bill; he was still sent a $107 finance charge.
The reviews aren’t all poor though. One customer who had been with Ally for four years was behind with repayments and was given an extension when he called in and paid a certain amount. Another said that Ally amended the interest rate (to a lower one) on their auto loan after the car dealership made a mistake, without needing him to resign any paperwork. This reviewer said that as long as you pay your car payment when you’re supposed to, you won’t ever hear from Ally.
To get an auto loan with Ally, you’ll need to have a good credit history. For the Ally Buyer’s Choice® financing option, you’ll need a minimum FICO score of 620 or higher and fall into credit tiers S-C. S Tier is also known as A+ Tier, and if you’re in this category, you’ll probably have five years of good credit history and likely qualify for the best auto loan rates.
C Tier is where you might have less than five years of credit history, or have high balances on credit cards, or possibly a couple of minor defaults. If you’re in this category, you may or may not be accepted for a loan.
The standard grace period for auto loans seems to be ten days. However, it varies by lender. Ally Bank doesn’t go into details about this on their website. Information about late charges is included in their payment schedule, as part of customer contracts. For more information on these or to find out if you can skip a payment, or extend your auto loan, you can call Ally Bank on 1-888-925-2559.
Whether you’re leasing or buying a car using Ally auto financing, as long as you’re making repayments, you won’t own it. This means that Ally could repossess your vehicle if you break the terms of your agreement, e.g., by stopping your repayments or failing to make them on time.
It’s not clear how many missed payments will lead to Ally repossessing your car, but as a general rule, two or three consecutive missed payments will likely trigger the process.
It’s worth noting that some lenders now use technology to remotely disable cars after just one missed payment. If the worst happens and your car gets repossessed by Ally, you can contact their Redemption Center at 1-877-845-8862 to find out how to get it back.
There are plenty of other lenders to consider as well as Ally Bank. It’s important to shop around to make sure you’re getting the best rate and terms possible before committing to an auto loan. Check with your bank, or a broker such as My Auto Loan that will match your needs with different lenders.
*The above information is correct at the time of publishing.
More on Ally checking account review