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How to save thousands on your CapitalOne auto loan

Nicholas Hinrichsen - Published: October 15, 2021

You can lower your monthly payments on your CapitalOne auto loan and save $900 every year / $75 every month through refinancing. You are a great candidate for refinancing if (a) you got your current loan at the dealership and/or (b) made all of your loan payments on time.
Instead of making your monthly payment to CapitalOne why not refinance now and save thousands in minutes.

Table of contents


Background on CapitalOne
  • CapitalOne reviews
  • How to make your payment?
  • Does CapitalOne report to the credit bureaus?

Before refinancing your CapitalOne auto loan
  • Things to consider before refinancing
  • Common mistakes people make when refinancing

How to refinance your CapitalOne auto loan
  • Step by step guide to refinance
  • Experts’ take on how to refinance
  • How much does it cost to refinance?
  • How soon can you refinance?
  • Will refinancing hurt your credit?
  • What happens if I pay extra?
  • Expected Savings from refinancing?
  • What are current refinance rates?
  • Can you refinance with the same lender?
  • Best bank for refinancing your CapitalOne loan?

Things not to do when refinancing
  • Reasons you should not refinance
  • Can I skip a car payment?
  • Does CapitalOne have a grace period?
  • How long does CapitalOne take to repossess my car?

Refinance your CapitalOne loan now

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Background on CapitalOne


Before going into more detail, here a little background about CapitalOne: With an auto loan market share of around 5%, Capital One is the second largest auto loan company in the US following Ally Financial. CapitalOne's market share is remarkable given that they only entered the auto loan market in 1998 through the acquisition of Summit Acceptance Corporation.

In 1994, CapitalOne was created as a spun-out of WellsFargo's credit card division, OakStone Financial. Richard Fairbank, who had graduated from the Stanford's Graduate School of Business, was the CEO of CapitalOne. He firmly believed that the use of demographic data to price credit card interest rates could give CapitalOne an edge over the competition.

Fairbank mastered the data-driven approach, which is now used by all credit card companies and other loan products.

CapitalOne targets the segment of American car shoppers with moderate (i.e. near-prime) credit and we observed an average auto loan interest rate of 12% (within a range of +/- 6%), while rates vary a lot by credit score. Our CapitalOne auto loan calculator can pre-qualify you hassle-free through a simple credit application and help you get a sense for how much you can expect to save from a CapitalOne auto refinance and the best rates.

CapitalOne reviews


If you currently have a loan with CapitalOne, you most likely got the loan at the dealership during the car purchase. You probably used your used vehicle as a trade-in to lower your down payment. The dealer found you your loan and you can make your payments by clicking on Online Access at https://www.capitalone.com.

79% of all Americans with auto loans get their auto loan at the dealership. People shop for new cars, they don't shop for new loans. As a result, auto dealers have a leg up when it comes to giving car shoppers loans. In fact, the same is true for auto insurance and when you inquire about a warranty.

The challenge is this:

  1. the number 1 goal of a car dealer is to sell a car
  2. the number 2 goal of a car dealer is to sell the car at the highest possible margin

Considering the interests of the car dealer and how most car shoppers get their loans, no wonder Americans are overpaying on their interest rates, right?

As mentioned above, CapitalOne is an auto loan and financial services company that specializes on the segment of Americans with moderate (i.e. near-prime) credit. We looked at reviews for CapitalOne and found the following:

  • BBB: 1 out of 5 stars and no complaints
  • Yelp: 1.5 out of 5 stars from 45 reviews
  • Glassdoor: 4.1 out of 5 stars from 8,045 reviews

Ever wondered if CapitalOne treats everyone like you? Sadly, they do. Other loans you might have also qualified for could have been with one of the following auto loan companies:


If you bought your car at a Franchise Dealership, you may have qualified for a loan with one of the Captive Finance companies (i.e. the auto loan companies that are owned by the respective car brand), e.g.:


After you've made your first 6 / 12 / 18 payments, your chance to refinance your loan and lower your monthly payments has come. The challenge with refinancing is that most auto loan companies require you to visit their branch before they can give you any indication of how much money you will be saving. Fortunately, we can help with that.

How to make your CapitalOne payments?


If you currently have a loan with CapitalOne paying online is easy. Simply go to https://www.capitalone.com and sign in in the middle at Online Access. You can choose between:

  • Making a one time payment.
  • Enrolling in Autopay from your checking account.

Please note that many banks and financial institutions offer a rate discount for enrolling in autopay (to reduce your interest expense and lower your monthly payment). CapitalOne would have highlighted this option to you to get you into a lower interest rate when you got pre-qualified during your application process for your auto financing.

If you can’t pay online, you’ve also got the option to:

Pay your bill over the phone: Call 1-800-946-0332

Pay your bill through the mail: Send a check to CapitalOne

Capital One Auto Finance
2525 Corporate Place
Second Floor, Suite 250
Monterey Park CA 91754

Does CapitalOne report to the credit bureaus?


When you first obtained your auto loan, CapitalOne reported your new loan to the credit bureaus. Your CapitalOne loan shows up as a so called trade-line on your credit report. Through a soft or hard credit inquiry, we can see:

  • When you got your CapitalOne loan
  • What your initial balance was
  • How high your monthly payment is
  • Whether you've made your payments in time and full
  • How high your outstanding balance is
  • How many payments are remaining

If you miss a payment, CapitalOne will very likely report the incident to the credit bureaus. Just like any other auto finance company, CapitalOne will also report to the credit bureaus when you paid off your loan or refinanced it. In both of those cases, your loan will show up as paid off.

Before refinancing your CapitalOne auto loan


Before refinacing your CapitalOne auto loan we recommend first taking a look at how much you actually owe. To get a clear picture of your current loan, we need to pull up your CapitalOne loan payoff statement to obtain your loan payoff amount and details. The loan payoff statement is not your outstanding balance. Instead, the loan payoff statement summarizes the following data points:

  • your payoff amount (usually your loan amount balance plus a few small fees)
  • the due date until your payoff is valid to avoid late fees (usually 10 days from when you requested it)
  • the per-diem (how much of daily interest your loan accumulates)
  • your account number (the new lender needs that to payoff your loan)
  • the payoff address (the new lender needs to know where to mail the check to)

With your accurate payoff information in mind, you're well equipped to make an educated decision on whether or not to refinance your loan. High monthly savings doesn't necessarily mean refinancing is worth it quite yet. We'll therefore look into a few nuances of refinancing first.

Things to consider before refinancing


Is it smart to refinance your CapitalOne loan? Absolutely yes, you will save thousands of dollars over the life of your loan and free up up to $150 per month. With a good partner who can navigate the process, you will be done in minutes.

That said, we've seen a number of 'traps' when helping Americans refinace their auto loans. Just to be clear, there is no such thing as a prepayment penalty. So all the information required to consider a refinance can be found on the official payoff statement.

Once you know the payoff amount, you need to decide whether you want to pay off your loan yourlself or let the new lender take care of that. You have multiple payment options but first you need to locate the payoff statement from CapitalOne's customer service reps:

  1. Call the CapitalOne customer service phone number at 1-800-946-0332 and ask to be connected to the loan payoff department.
  2. Log into the online banking at Online Access (https://www.capitalone.com, sign in in the middle) and browse to the 'Loan Payoff' tab. You will be able to download a PDF.
  3. Do a three-way phone call with the new lender and a CapitalOne customer service rep at 1-800-946-0332, which allows the new lender to ask CapitalOne all the questions necessary to pay off your existing loan.

Should you plan to payoff your loan and you are currently in the United States, you can overnight a check to the following address:

Capital One Auto Finance
2525 Corporate Place
Second Floor, Suite 250
Monterey Park CA 91754

Once you paid off your auto loan, expect to receive the vehicle title along with a lien release letter in the mail. Car loans are usually secured personal loans and in order to be able to sell your vehicle or refinance it, you need the lien release in hand.

We provided those addresses above because we always struggle to find a service provider's contact information. Just be aware, due to COVID-19, waiting times for customer service reps might be longer than usual.

Want us to take care of the refinance for you? We can lower your rate in less than two minutes.

Common mistakes people make when refinancing


We've been helping Americans lower their CapitalOne auto loan payments for a long time now. CapitalOne - or any other auto lender for what its worth - doesn't want you to refinance their loan. Therefore, you won't find a lot of information about how to refinance your CapitalOne on the Internet.

One common mistake we're seeing when helping CapitalOne customers lower their car payments is the following:

Many borrowers think that refinancing their CapitalOne auto loans means 'restructuring' the loan. With restructuring we mean: get a second chance to make payments after you have missed a few payments or closing the chapter with CapitalOne and starting over with a new lender. Logically, that's not what refinancing is.

Refinancing your CapitalOne auto loan means quite the opposite: you will be able to lower your payments by decreasing your interest rate and/or stretching the term because you've done a good job and made your payments in time and in full.

If you have not made your payments to CapitalOne in time and in full, you're not a good candidate for refinancing. Instead, you should contact CapitalOne and get their help on financial planning for the future. Your goal has to be to not miss payments again.

How to refinance your CapitalOne auto loan


To lower your monthly payments on your CapitalOne (also known as Capital One, CapitalIne, Capital One Auto Navigator or Credit One or Capital 1) auto loan, you need to find a lender that can extend your used car loan term or who offers lower auto loan rates before the loan is paid in full. The best way to do so is through an online application that returns your annual percentage rate (APR) immediately. Usually, lenders offer you a lower rate than your current auto loan for one of two reasons:

  1. When you bought your car, the participating dealer marked up your rate. That's common for auto loan originations and to make more money.
  2. You improved your credit over time and now qualify for a lower car payment and interest rate.

Both of these observations are common sense and the reason for why you can save a lot of money, especially if you drive your car for personal use. You improved your credit with the credit bureaus from near-prime credit (i.e. between 600 and 680 on your credit report) to prime credit (i.e. above 680), you're not facing any financial difficulties and therefore, your new lender will be likely one of the following ones:


You successfully got out of the near-prime credit segment (a FICO between 600 - 680 on your credit history) and moved into the prime credit segment (FICO above 680). Commercial banks will now aggressively market to you, often via auto-dialers or direct mail. Commercial banks are in the business of (amongst others) lending money to consumers at a profit, are FDIC approved and you now match their perfect customer profile. They'll market to you offering an exceptional customer experience.

In the following, we will walk you through the exact steps to pay off your CapitalOne loan. If you want to skip the details and refinance now through a simple loan application, get an offer with a few clicks and with no impact on your credit.

Step by step guide to refinance


Follow these 7 steps to refinance your CapitalOne auto loan:

  1. Figure out your payoff amount
  2. Check if you have positive / negative equity
  3. Compare rates offered by lenders or contact a refinance broker
  4. Calculate your new rate and monthly payments
  5. Sign all the paperwork
  6. Payoff your existing loan
  7. Set up auto-pay with your new lender


Experts’ take on how to refinance


Experts in the refinancing space such as CreditKarma, NerdWallet and Bankrate are strong proponents of auto loan refinancing. That is true for CapitalOne customers like you as well as any other auto loan company. NerdWallet even released a list of the 10 Best Auto Loan Refinancing Lenders, followed by Money.com, LendingTree, Investopedia and The Balance.

Personal finance is an important topic. We have seen studies that show how happiness and mental well-being directly correlate with stable and reliable finances. Therefore, we strongly recommend doing a lot of research and then refinancing your CapitalOne auto loan.

The experts above have a good general understanding of personal finance. Given our backgrounds (MiT, McKinsey, Bain, Merrill Lynch, Stanford Graduate School of Business, Carvana etc) we are the absolute, unquestioned and unchallenged authority on auto loan refinancing in particular and have published a thorough thought leadership piece about it.

How much does it cost to refinance?


The cost to refinance your CapitalOne are somewhere between $15 and $449. In theory, refinancing doesn't cost anything. You don't have early repayment fees on your CapitalOne auto loan and the only charge that applies is the fee for the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to change the lienholder on your vehicle title.

However, depending on who you work with to refinance your CapitalOne auto loan, you might be incurring some (hidden) fees of up to $449. Take a look at our thorough refinance lender comparison to get a good overview of the cost related to refinancing your CapitalOne loan by refinancing company.

How soon can you refinance?


You're eager to refinance your CapitalOne loan? Great, you should absolutely work towards lowering your CapitalOne payments through refinancing.

Car dealerships make most of their money on finance and insurance products. Therefore, there's a good chance that you are overpaying and can save money through refinancing - already the day you drive off the lot! That said, you will save the biggest amount of money from refinancing after you made 12 to 18 payments. That's when you will notice the effect from improving your credit above and beyond moderate (i.e. near-prime) credit.

That said, we recommend checking regularly: you can get a free refinance offer with no impact on your credit in three simple steps.

Will refinancing hurt your credit?


Refinancing will not hurt your credit! If you have the app CreditKarma installed on your phone, take a peek at what factors determine your credit. You will find the following:

  • Number of Hard Inquiries (less is better)
  • Age of Credit history (more is better)
  • Credit Card Utilization (less is better)
  • Total Accounts (more is better)
  • Derogatory Marks (less is better)
  • Payment History (more is better)

None of these factors is impacted negatively if you obtain a refinancing offer for your CapitalOne loan. Lenders don't need to do a hard credit inquiry to make you a firm refinance offer. Neither do they charge an application fee. From a soft credit pull, we can see your whole credit file and estimate your rate.

Should you decide to accept the refinance offer, the new lender will have to perform a hard inquiry in order to add your new loan to your credit file. The hard inquiry, however, only happens after you have been approved.

We argue that the positive impact of refinancing your CapitalOne loan outweigh the negative impact of the hard credit inquiry: after you refinance your CapitalOne loan, you will have a lower rate and lower monthly payments. As a result, the likelihood that you will be able to establish a perfect payment history increases which will drive your score up quickly.

What happens if I pay extra?


The answer is simple: your loan term will shorten but your monthly payment will stay the same. A number of our customers hope they can reduce their monthly payments through paying extra but no lender will do that.

To lower your monthly payments, you have to refinance your loan. If you haven't considered refinancing your CapitalOne loan yet, you definitely should: not only can you reduce your monthly payments within 2 minutes or less, your total interest expense will go down as well and as a result, you can save $900 every year / $75 every month.

Expected Savings from refinancing?


We performed a study on the top 40 auto loan companies to refinance and found that the average CapitalOne loan rate is around 12% (within a range of +/- 6%). If you made your payments for 6 / 12 / 18 consecutive months, you're guaranteed to be able to save money on your CapitalOne loan.

Your new interest rate should be on the order of 6% or below. That means you will save $600 every year / $50 every month if your remaining loan balance is around $10,000 and you refinance. Usually, we see higher loan balances when refinancing our customers, e.g. around $15,000. If your loan balance is around $15,000 you will save $900 every year / $75 every month when you lower your rate by 6%.

For a guaranteed rate in less than 2 minutes, open WithClutch.com, enter your phone number, select your goal (e.g. 'Lower my monthly payment') and click on 'Apply Now'. Our process will not hurt your credit and you'll receive a firm and guaranteed rate with not more than 5 clicks. Should you have any further questions, check out our FAQs.

What are current refinance rates?


We can help you get the following CapitalOne refinance rates:

Credit New car Used car
760+ 2.69% 3.49%
700-760 3.00% 4.25%
650-700 5.50% 6.50%
600-650 9.75% 10.75%
550-600 15.50% 17.50%
Below 550 22.00% 22.00%

As mentioned above, CapitalOne car loan rates vary a lot by credit score, i.e. lowest rate for excellent credit to highest rate for challenged credit. Yet, the rates are usually the same no matter where you live in the United States - be it Hawaii or Maine, Alaska or Florida. We therefore recommend taking a look at your CapitalOne refinance offer for your exact and personalized refinance terms.

Can you refinance your CapitalOne loan with the same lender?


The answer is short and sweat: no, you cannot refinance a CapitalOne loan with the same lender. CapitalOne does one of two things with your loan:

  • Keep it and generate profit over the course of the loan and while you are paying your interest.
  • Sell your loan to an institutional investor or the public through a securitization to realize a lump sum profit immediately.

In both of those cases, the institution holding your loan is expecting your monthly payments. When you refinance, however, you change the expected cash flow to CapitalOne, which impacts CapitalOne's bottom line. CapitalOne would not allow that.

Hence, if anyone challanges you 'Does CapitalOne refinance?' or 'Can you refinance through CapitalOne?' the answer is simple: CapitalOne won't let you refinance your car loan if you currently have your loan with CapitalOne. Instead, you need to find a new lender offering a lower rate.

Fortunately, we recently studied the best car loan refinance companies and wrote a thorough review. In a nutshell, only WithClutch offers a fully digital pre-qualification experience, even for borrowers with minimum monthly income and without charging unreasonable fees. We do our best to give our clients the best auto refinance loans. Our partner lenders can offer the lowest rates and can help with lease buyouts as well as refinancing.

Best bank for refinancing your CapitalOne loan?


In our study about the best car loan refinance companies, we explained that we need to distinguish between:

  1. Lenders (i.e. banks and Credit Unions who ultimately replace your CapitalOne loan with a new one with a lower rate)
  2. Refinance Brokers (i.e. companies that create a marketplace between lenders and you as the customer with a CapitalOne loan)
  3. Affiliate Websites (i.e. websites that rank high in Google's search algorithm for e.g. 'how to refinance my CapitalOne loan' aiming to get you to submit your contact details)

Best Auto Loan Refinance Companies of 2021

  • Best for Great Credit: Credit Unions
  • Best for Checking Rates Without Impacting Your Credit: Capital One.
  • Best Trusted Name: Bank of America, Chase or WellsFargo.
  • Best for The Most Options: WithClutch.
  • Best for Members of the Military: USAA or Navy Federal CU.
  • Best for Peer-to-Peer Loans: LendingClub although not recommendable.
  • Credit Union with lowest rates: Digital Credit Union and PenFed.

Feel free to submit your details on our digital and 100% online refinance platform for some free advice on which company would be the best fit for you. You'll get a reliable answer with three clicks and in less than 2 minutes.

Things not to do when refinancing


Refinancing your CapitalOne auto loan may feel intimidating and overwhelming. That's totally understandable, you don't refinance your CapitalOne loan every day and therefore want to avoid a few pitfalls:

Reasons you should not refinance


You should not refinance your CapitalOne auto loan if you end up with a higher overall interest charge. That means, you don't want to refinance your loan if you end up in a worse financial product, with a higher interest rate. Let's take a look at the following example:

if you're currently paying 12% and $450 monthly, you don't want to accept a loan at 12% even if the monthly payment might be $400 only because your lender stretched the loan over a longer period of time. It is definitely possible but we highly recommend against it.

We've seen thousands of success stories of clients refinancing their CapitalOne auto loans. Some of our clients wanted to reduce their monthly CapitalOne payment while keeping the loan term constant. Other clients wanted to reduce the monthly payments by even more and therefore stretched the loan term to 60, 72 and some even 84 months.

And other clients had positive equity in their car - i.e. the remaining CapitalOne loan balance was lower than the value of their car - and therefore decided for themselves that the best auto loan from all of our loan offers would be the one with cash-out.

Still, one question a lot of our customers ask us is this: 'I haven't been great about making my payments so my credit score hasn't improved a lot quite yet. However, I really want to lower my monthly payments. Should I refinance, accept a higher rate and stretch the loan over a longer period of time?'

We don't encourage such a refinance. It's a bad financial decision and you're locking yourself into making a lot higher payments over a long period of time. Don't be penny-wise and pound-foolish!

Can I skip a car payment?


You're short on cash and are wondering whether you can skip a car payment with CapitalOne? The answer is yes, you can defer one or more payments on your existing auto loan. You have to talk to CapitalOne about the deferral first though. You can't just not pay or you risk collection calls and ultimately a repossession.

Ideally, you give CapitalOne a call at 1-800-946-0332 and describe your situation. CapitalOne's goal is for you to make your payments throughout the whole term of the loan. Finance charges will continue to accrue on the unpaid loan balance, which means you will end up paying more on your loan after all. But for as long as you communicate well with CapitalOne, they will defer one or more payments out of courtesy and to help you with your repayment.

All that said, you can lower your CapitalOne payments through refinancing if you've made all your latest payments on time. In three simple steps, you can find out how low your payments could be without having to skip a payment or two.

Does CapitalOne have a grace period?


The CapitalOne late payment policy provides a grace period of 7 to 15 days. Grace periods vary from lender to lender and due to the coronavirus pandemic, banks have become a lot more lenient with their borrowers.

Late fees vary drastically by loan, the minimum late fee we've encountered was 5% of the monthly payment amount. However, we strongly advise not to take advantage of CapitalOne's grace period unless you have an emergency. You'd be putting your credit at risk, which can have a long-term, negative impact on your personal finances.

Instead, we recommend exploring if refinancing can help you reduce your monthly burden and potentially even provide unexpected cost savings. Provide your phone number and follow our three simple steps to get a firm offer, 100% online and with no hit on your credit.

How long does CapitalOne take to repossess my car?


Repossession law varies slightly from state to state and range from 3 to 5 months after you stopped making payments on your CapitalOne loan. Each individual retail and installment contract - the contract you signed when you got your car and CapitalOne loan - states what constitutes a default.

Some states and contracts even trigger a repossession within 45 days (or a month and a half) of being in default. You are in default when you stopped making your payments and for as long as you haven't paid the CapitalOne late fees.

Just catching up with your missed payments making CapitalOne whole doesn't automatically mean you're not in default anymore. You really need to pay CapitalOne everything you owe including fees to be not considered in default any longer.

Refinance your CapitalOne loan now


Haven't explored refinancing yet? Take a look at our exhaustive article about all the auto refinance companies and you will realize,
WithClutch.com is the only fully digital platform that lets car owners like you do so from the comfort of their own home. No need to set a foot in a bank or credit union. You can lower your rate or get cash in as little as 20 seconds.

Follow three simple steps to refinance your auto loan, get approved in seconds and save thousands in minutes.