Ally Bank Auto Loan In Depth Review

Ally Financial Inc. is the digital financial services company behind Ally Bank, and it dates back to 1919. It is one of the top 25 U.S. financial holding companies that offer financial products to businesses, consumers, corporate clients, and automotive dealers.

The selection of products ranges from banking and credit cards to investing, home loans, and auto loans. Here, we are going to dive into Ally Bank’s auto loans.

Ally Bank auto loan overview

Ally Bank offers auto financing to consumers through participating dealers. It currently serves 18,000 dealers and more than 4 million of their U.S. customers. While you can’t go directly to Ally to get a loan, you can look on their website to find a participating dealer near you. Then, you can apply through the dealer.

Here’s how Ally’s auto loans work.

Financing options

Buy

Individual consumers can use Ally to finance vehicles they want to buy. However, both new and used vehicles can be no more than 10 model years old with no more than 120,000 miles at inception. Products are available for both prime and non-prime credit, and terms go up to 75 months.

Lease

Ally also offers a SmartLease program. It has an easy return policy, automatic GAP protection, straightforward wear guidelines, and flexible terms. Further, Ally Pre-Owned SmartLease enables you to lease a used car that has a clean history report, is fewer than four model years old, and has less than 75,000 miles. Other restrictions apply regarding eligible makes and models. At the end of your lease, you can buy the car, return it, or extend the lease.

Note: In addition to buying or leasing personal vehicles, Ally also has loan products for businesses and RVs. 

Auto loan features

Ally Bank aims to make auto loans easy and flexible. To do so, it offers the following:

  • Automatic payments: You can set up automatic payments from a checking account, so you don’t have to worry about making your payment manually.
  • Online account management: Manage your account online from a desktop computer. Check payment history, balance, and statements whenever you want.
  • Ally Auto Mobile Pay App: With the mobile app, you can manage your account from anywhere on your smartphone or tablet.
  • Ally Buyer’s Choice: This program gives you the option to sell your car to Ally on the “Special Prepayment Date.” The date will either be 48 or 60 months into your contract. You will get a predetermined price minus any excess mileage or wear. If you decline, you will keep your car and continue normally with your payments until the end of the loan term. This option is available in all states except Nevada.
  • Ally Balloon Advantage:  A payment option that lowers your monthly fixed payment in exchange for adding a lump sum payment (balloon) at the end of the contract. It’s available for GM, Chrysler, and Mitsubishi vehicles, and pre-owned vehicles up to four model years old that are not Suzuki or Saab. Further, it’s available in all states except for Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.

These features help to set Ally apart from its competition.

Vehicle protection options

Next up is the vehicle protection packages. Ally offers several options and has an assessment you can take to identify which will be best for you. Here’s a quick overview:

  • Ally Premier Protection: Three levels of coverage are available, from basic to comprehensive. On Ally’s website, you can see which parts of the car each plan covers. The cost will vary depending on your driving habits and the plan you choose.
  • Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP): This coverage protects you in the event of a total loss. It will cover the difference between what your insurance pays for the car and the full amount of your outstanding debt.
  • SmartLease Protect: This coverage will cover any charges for excess mileage or wear at the end of a lease.
  • Other protection products: Other coverage options available include protection against dents, theft, tire and wheel damage, and fabric, leather, and paint damage.

If you want to add on a protection option, mention it to the dealer and ask for the pricing. They are available for new, used, and leased cars.

Ally auto customer service

You can reach customer service by calling the Ally financial phone number for auto loans at 1-888-925-2559, or by logging in to a chat on the Ally Bank website. Call center hours from Monday to Friday start at 8 a.m. and go to 11 p.m. ET, on Saturday they start at 9 a.m. and go to 7 p.m. ET, and on Sunday they are closed.

Unfortunately, many Ally financial reviews from customers report less than stellar experiences. One past customer says, “I tried calling Ally Bank to check into an auto refinance, and I keep getting transferred to India where they keep asking for my account number, and then they transfer me to someone to take an application which transfers right back to customer service for who asks for my account number. I’ve been through this loop three times.”

There are many reviews of a similar nature, so this may be one drawback of choosing Ally.

Apply with Ally Bank for an auto loan

To apply with Ally Bank, you will need to visit its website, select the “Auto” drop-down menu, and click “Find a dealer near you.”Ally auto loan review

On the next page, you will be able to enter your address and the vehicle brand you want. Ally auto loan review

Then, you can select the dealer you want and click “Get Directions.”Ally auto loan review

You will get turn-by-turn directions to the dealership.Ally auto loan review

The last step is to head over to the dealer and let them know you want to apply for financing with Ally Bank.

Is an Ally Bank auto loan right for you?

Ally Bank claims to offer competitive rates and has helpful features on its auto loans. Plus, it has a comprehensive lineup of protection products. The downsides for consumers are that the company has a reputation for less-than-stellar customer service, and it does not lend directly to you. The latter means you can’t find out what kind of deal you can get without going to the dealer and working with them.

With many online lenders allowing you to apply online and get an answer in just a few minutes (without leaving your couch), driving to a dealer is a huge drawback. However, if you don’t mind, head in and see what you can get. But remember to shop around as well so you can see how Ally’s quote stacks up to the competition.

To learn more about Ally Bank auto loans, click here. 

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