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650 Credit Score Car Loan: Is It Smart to Refinance?

650 Credit Score Car Loan - Is It Possible to Refinance?
Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman
Sulaiman Abdur-RahmanUpdated May 5, 2022
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Editor’s note: Lantern by SoFi seeks to provide content that is objective, independent and accurate. Writers are separate from our business operation and do not receive direct compensation from advertisers or partners. Read more about our Editorial Guidelines and How We Make Money.
A fair credit score of 650 is generally sufficient for getting a car loan. Consumers with a 650 credit score are classified as near prime or nonprime. Auto loan borrowers may refinance their existing debt. Refinancing pays off the original loan agreement and replaces it with new loan terms.Refinancing a car loan could be smart depending on your circumstances. If you need a lower monthly payment or want to secure a lower interest rate, refinancing could make that possible. Below we highlight how lenders may view a 650 credit score for a car loan.

Is It Possible to Get a Car Loan With a 650 Credit Score?

Getting a car loan with a 650 credit score is possible and happens frequently with borrowers in the fair credit range. Experian data show 13.88% of new car loan borrowers and 22.09% of used car loan borrowers in the fourth quarter of 2021 had near-prime credit scores ranging from 601 to 660.Lenders in 2021 originated more than 4 million auto loans and leases to consumers with subprime credit scores below 620, according to Equifax.Some of the major credit scoring models, including VantageScore® 4.0 and base FICO® Scores, range from 300 to 850. A 650 credit score is generally considered near prime, nonprime, and fair.It’s possible to get a car loan with a 650 credit score, but most car loan borrowers in Q4 2021 had a good credit score above 660.

What Is a 650 Credit Score?

A 650 credit score is generally fair and nonprime, as the table below shows:
Credit score rangeRisk categoryDescription
781–850Super primeThe borrower has excellent credit
661–780PrimeThe borrower has good credit
601–660Nonprime or near primeThe borrower has fair credit
501–600SubprimeThe borrower has poor credit
300–500Deep subprimeThe borrower has very poor credit

How Do Lenders View a 650 Credit Score for a Car Loan?

Lenders may view a 650 credit score as creditworthy but not necessarily worthy of the best terms and conditions for a car loan. Borrowers with a 650 credit score may pay higher finance charges than borrowers with prime or super prime credit scores. Experian data show near-prime borrowers in Q4 2021 had an average car loan rate of 6.07% on new vehicle financing. The average loan rate stood at 3.51% for prime borrowers and 2.47% for super prime borrowers who had financed new vehicles that quarter.Lenders generally offer the best rates of interest to borrowers with excellent credit, and this highlights the importance of credit scores. Subprime borrowers in Q4 2021 had an average car loan rate of 9.41% on new vehicle financing, while deep subprime borrowers had an average rate of 12.53%.Lenders may view a 650 credit score as being near prime, which is generally good enough for borrowers to qualify for financing.

650 Credit Score Auto Loan Interest Rates

As mentioned earlier, a 650 credit score is typically considered near prime, nonprime, and fair. Experian data show near-prime borrowers in Q4 2021 had an average car loan rate of 6.07% on new vehicle financing and 9.80% on used vehicle financing. Lenders typically offer better auto loan interest rates when financing new vehicles.As a consumer, you may wonder when should you refinance an auto loan. Refinancing might be right for you if you can secure a lower interest rate or if you need a lower monthly payment.

650 Credit Score Car Loan Terms

Borrowers with near-prime credit scores had an average car loan term of 74.33 months for new vehicle financing in Q4 2021. Near-prime borrowers who secured used vehicle financing that quarter had an average car loan term of 68.41 months, data show.The near-prime credit risk category includes consumers with a credit score at or near 650. Car loan terms can range from one year to more than 85 months. Longer terms may include higher interest rates and lower monthly payments compared with shorter terms.

650 Credit Score Car Loan Lenders

Here are some lenders who may offer auto refinance loans to near-prime borrowers:


Caribou is a fintech company that operates an online platform that helps connect borrowers with auto loan refinance lenders.
CaribouOnline platform is simple to useLowest annual percentage rate (APR) may not be available in every state


LendingClub is a digital marketplace bank that offers secured auto refinance loans to consumers.
LendingClubNo origination fees and no prepayment penaltiesTypical customers have high incomes between $90,000 and $100,000 and high FICO Scores above 700


Upgrade is a financial technology company that offers auto refinance loans made by its bank partners.
UpgradeUser-friendly process guides customers through the loan and title transfer processCan take up to two weeks for Upgrade to pay off your creditor

Factors That Impact on Auto Refinancing Approval

Here are some factors that can impact auto refinancing approval:

Credit Score

Lenders of auto refinance loans may consider the credit score of the borrower when determining whether or not to approve a loan refinancing request. Some borrowers with bad credit may not qualify.

Debt-to-Income Ratio

Banks, credit unions, and nonbank financial institutions generally like to see a debt-to-income ratio below 36%. Borrowers with high DTIs may have a harder time getting approved for auto loan refinancing than borrowers with low DTIs. That’s because DTI ratios help lenders evaluate an applicant’s ability to make timely loan repayments and shoulder new debt.


Lenders generally require borrowers to have a steady income to qualify for auto loan refinancing. Borrowers with an annual income below $18,000 may have difficulty getting approved. 

650 Credit Score Car Loan Repayment Schedule

Consumers with a 650 credit score may qualify for auto loan terms ranging from a few years to more than 85 months. Term length determines your loan repayment schedule. For example, a fixed-rate car loan with a five-year term would feature 60 fixed monthly payments. Borrowers are expected to make on-time payments over the life of the loan.

Applying for a 650 Credit Score Car Loan

Consumers with fair credit scores can apply for car loan financing through banks, credit unions, nonbank financial institutions, or dealerships. A consumer with a 650 credit score may qualify for auto loan financing, but nonprime consumers usually don’t qualify for the best rates. Borrowers who improve their credit scores may qualify for better rates with an auto refinance loan. If you wonder how soon can you refinance an auto loan, the answer is you may have the option to refinance almost immediately.

The Takeaway 

A 650 credit score is better than subprime, but it’s still below the general threshold of good credit. Borrowers with fair credit scores may have access to near-prime car loan financing.Lantern by SoFi can help you compare auto refinancing rates from top lenders. Refinancing can replace your existing loan agreement with new terms that may lower your monthly payment.Check your rate today and see if you prequalify.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a 650 credit score car loan expensive?
Can I refinance my auto loan with a credit score of 650?
What is the maximum car loan I can get with a 650 credit score?
Photo credit: iStock/dragana991

About the Author

Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman

Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman

Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman writes about personal loans, auto loans, student loans, and other personal finance topics for Lantern. He’s the recipient of more than 10 journalism awards and currently serves as a New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists board member. An alumnus of the Philadelphia-based Temple University, Abdur-Rahman is a strong advocate of the First Amendment and freedom of speech.
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