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Ally Auto Loan review

Ally Auto Loans offer a light and tight loan solution that brings low rates and tempting extras.

Ally Auto Loan review
(Image: © Ally)

Our Verdict

Ally is not Better Business Bureau (BBB) accredited but the company has been in business for almost 100 years. The website is vibrant and well-designed, providing you with information and insights that will help you to buy a car with relative ease.

For

  • Ally Balloon Advantage is good
  • Excellent, well designed website
  • Low APR built around credit scores

Against

  • Very mixed customer reviews
  • Not BBB accredited
  • Restricted to Ally auto loan registered dealers

Ally Auto Loans can offer you an APR as low as 3.23% on a new car, but this depends entirely on your credit score. Those who have higher credit scores get the amazing APRs for both new and used cars (used cars are 3.95%) but those with lower credit scores can end up with an APR as high as 19.81% on a used car. Ouch.

The on-site calculator is designed to help you get a general feel for the APR that you’re going to be offered by the bank. Ally also offers two rather unique propositions to the market. The first of these is the Ally Balloon Advantage program that lets you make lower monthly payments in favor of a large balloon payment at the end of the contract. You can use this program only on certain types of new car and on all types of used car except for Saab and Suzuki. The other program is Buyers Choice which blends both buying and leasing options into one package tailored to suit customer budgets. These options, combined with the low rates, mean Ally Auto Loans are among the best auto loans you can choose.

Ally Auto Loan review: How the process works

  • Locked into a network of authorized dealers
  • Lengthy enrolment process
Key specs

Application process:  Direct dealer application 
APR: From 3.23 percent dependent on amount, terms and credit score
Fees: Fees apply, not disclosed
Loan terms: New vehicle, used vehicle

Ally may offer a low APR and a funky looking website, but actually getting your car loan approval is a bit of a run around. To start, you will need to use the Find a Dealer app to locate an approved Ally dealership near you, then you will need to either manage the process through the dealer or call Ally to get things started. 

Once you’ve been approved for a loan and have your car, you’ll need to enroll in the online program to manage your account, payments and information. The process isn’t digital at all when you first start out, but you can then control everything about how you pay and the insurance you take directly from the online dashboard or the app. The process is much longer than, say, Bank of America Auto Loans, which are often approved in less than a minute.

What stands out here isn’t the initial application process – that’s vague and wishy washy at best – but the app and the ability to consistently check your payment methods, FICO score, and payment progress.

Ally Auto Loan review: Ease of use and customer reviews

  • Mixed customer reviews
  • Feature rich auto loan management platform

The customer reviews for Ally auto loans on Best Company and ConsumerAffairs are incredibly mixed. On one hand, customers have enjoyed a seamless, friction-free experience with the bank, easily getting their loans and paying them off. On the other hand, people have had poor customer service, bad payment management issues and excessive fees. Providers like Capital One Auto Loans have far more consistent, positive feedback from users.

The platform is easy to navigate and comes with plenty of helpful insight and information along with an excellent FAQ page. As Ally also manages home loans and other financial services, the FAQ can get a bit frustrating to navigate, but the company has made an effort to answer some of the most commonly asked questions. 

Ally Auto Loan review: Is it transparent, accessible and usable?

  • Accessible FAQ on the landing page
  • Plenty of information to hand

Ally loans has put as much information as possible onto its landing page. There is an accessible FAQ, an easy one-click route to enrolling with the company, clearly explained financing information, and lots of detail around how the company works. 

That said, it doesn’t make it easy for you to find out what your APR will be – this requires a bit of hunting around – nor does it provide immediate answers to questions around pre-payment penalties or fees. The transparency around most of the financial aspects of the auto loan is minimal so it’s best to get everything explained and in writing up front.

Should you choose an Ally Auto Loan?

Ally has a low APR rate for those with a robust credit rating and it has developed some unique programs to make your life and budgeting a little bit easier. Anyone with bad credit should look for a Wells Fargo Auto loan instead. The customer reviews are extremely varied – some love it and others hate it – but these are balanced by an app, a fully-developed online loan management platform, and access to information. The fees, penalties and other financial titbits are carefully hidden away, however, so make sure those are on the table and in writing before you start.