Ally auto loan

Ally Bank Auto Loan: In Depth Review For 2020

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Ally Financial Inc. is the digital financial services company behind Ally Bank. With roots dating back to 1919, Ally Auto Finance has been in the auto lending business for close to 100 years. Ally Auto started as GMAC, a division of GM, and the company was transformed into Ally in 2009 with its headquarters is in Detroit, Michigan. As of 2016, Ally served 18,000 auto dealers in the U.S. and over 4 million of their customers. It is an online bank without physical locations and aims to differentiate itself with competitive rates and helpful customer support. Ally Financial Inc. is one of the top 25 U.S. financial holding companies that offer financial products to businesses, consumers, corporate clients, and automotive dealers. It should come as no surprise that Ally Bank Auto Loan is one of the nation’s top contenders in the business.

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.

Ally Bank Auto Loan: Financing Options


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. Also to note, products are available for both prime and non-prime credit, and terms go up to 75 months.

Ally SmartLease

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. Another detail to note is that 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. 

Ally Auto Lease Buyout Option

After your lease is up, you have three options which are to purchase the vehicle, returning the vehicle or request for a longer period of time.

How to Purchase a Lease

The process is straightforward. First, check your lease agreement for your specific terms and the purchase option price you’ll need to pay to buy the vehicle. Then, give Ally Financial a call to let them know your decision. Also, remember to schedule an appointment with your dealer to finalize your purchase.

If you have any dues left on the vehicle, remember to pay the purchase option price plus any excess fees. For example, you may have incurred applicable taxes, fees and other unpaid amounts. If you need to finance this amount, ask your dealer if you qualify for Ally financing. This option provides complete ownership and no restraints on mileage or wear.

Returning the Vehicle

There are several things you should check before returning your lease. So, before returning your lease, Ally Financial will look at the mileage of the vehicle, excess wear, and perform an inspection.


First, you’ll want to check to see if you went over your allowed mileage on the lease agreement.
Here’s how Ally Financial calculates the potential charge:
Number of Excess Miles x Per Mile Charge (within Lease Agreement) = Potential Excess Mileage Charge

Excess Wear

Your vehicle’s condition may result in potential excess wear charges or charges for missing parts you may owe when you return your vehicle. As you near the end of your contract, Ally Financial will mail you a Wear Square to check for excess wear and damages that may have incurred during the duration of your lease.


Ally Financial will either hire a third party or a dealership to inspect your vehicle within 5 days of returning your vehicle. Also, they will provide an inspection report for you to see what the third party or the dealership finds. Furthermore, you can also pay for an independent inspection if this clause is in your lease agreement.

Request for more time

If you need more time to decide, you may send a secure message from Ally Auto Online Services or give customer service a call to discuss further options.

Balloon Advantage

With this program, you can move a large portion of your loan amount to the end of the contract to lower your monthly payments. Additionally, with this program, Balloon Advantage is available in all states except for Maryland, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. Further, eligible vehicles include all new models by Chrysler, Mitsubishi, and GM, and used vehicles from the last four years (excluding Saab and Suzuki).

With this in mind, all of these offerings are only available through a dealer that offers Ally financing.

Ally Auto Business Finance

Ally also has the following options for businesses:


Traditional financing for commercial vehicles that will be used exclusively for business. In addition, the title will be in the name of the business.


A closed-end lease for new passenger cars, light- or medium-duty commercial trucks that are current or prior model years. Also, the title will be in Ally’s name, and the vehicle can be for personal or business use.


An open-ended lease for vehicles that will be used for business more than half of the time. In addition to, the title will be in Ally’s name, and qualifying vehicles include makes or models up to two years old. One main difference between this and the SmartLease is that you are responsible for the residual value when the lease ends (instead of the excess mileage and wear charges).

Specialty Vehicle Financing

Ally offers to finance for upfits, so you can add special business equipment or modify vehicles to provide accessibility for people with disabilities.

Commercial Line of Credit

Businesses can qualify for a line of credit with Ally, which can be used to purchase or lease commercial vehicles while saving bank credit lines for other business needs.

Municipal Lease-Purchase Plan

Municipalities such as cities, police and fire departments, and school districts can lease vehicles. Also, when the lease ends, they will own the vehicle. Ally offers monthly and annual payment options and no disposal fees.

Again, to access these financing options, businesses will need to find a participating dealer.

Ally RVs Finance

Want to finance a recreational vehicle? No problem. Ally will finance Class A, B, and C motorhomes, travel trailers, pop-ups, and 5th wheels through their network of dealers. Eligible vehicles include new and used vehicles (models up to 10 years old with up to 75,000 miles).

Ally lease-end process

If you lease a vehicle, Ally will assist you in taking your next steps when the lease ends. You can buy it, return it, or inquire about an extension.

Now that you know all of Ally’s offerings let’s take a closer look at what else they offer customers.

Ally Bank Auto Loan: Features

Ally Bank’s objective is to make auto loans easy and flexible. So, with ease and flexibility in mind, Ally Bank auto loan 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. For example, you can 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. Also, 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. Another note is that this option is 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. Also to note, Ally also offers additional auto financing products besides auto loans. Read more about Ally’s financing products here.

FAQ for Ally Bank Vehicle Protection Options

Ally offers the following seven options to customers who want a vehicle service contract to protect their investment:

  1. What is Premier Protection? Three products are available for this option. First of all, the Major Guard, which covers over 7,400 components including high-end tech and luxury items, Also, the Value Guard, which covers over 2,900 components. And finally, the Basic Guard, which covers over 2,000 components (just the essentials).
  2. What is Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) Insurance? If you get in an accident and your car is totaled, Ally Financial GAP insurance will cover the cost. For example, the company will cover for any difference between the cash value received from your insurance and the outstanding balance you owe on the car.
  3. What is SmartLease Protect? This coverage will cover any costs you incur at the end of your lease for extra wear and mileage.
  4. What is Theft Protect? This theft protection will reimburse you if your car is stolen and recovered or declared a total loss after being stolen.
  5. What is Tire and Wheel Protect? Coverage to protect you against costs incurred by damage from unavoidable hazards on the road.
  6. What is Dent Protect? Coverage for dents on the body panels of the vehicle.
  7. What is Appearance Protect? Coverage for the paint, fabric, and leather in your vehicle.

If you would like any of these protections from Ally, you can request the coverage from the dealer.

Ally Bank Auto Loan: 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.”

Clearlane by Ally

If you are looking to refinance with Ally Financial, you will be redirected to Clearlane. Clearlane is a broker powered by Ally Financial that connects borrowers with a wide network of auto refinance providers.

Apply for an Auto Loan with Ally Financial

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 Bank Auto Loan Application

On the next page, you will be able to enter your address and the vehicle brand you want. Ally Bank Auto Loan Address

Then, you can select the dealer you want and click “Get Directions.”Step 3

You will get turn-by-turn directions to the dealership.Step 4

Lastly, you can head over to the dealer and let them know you want to apply for financing with Ally Bank.

FAQ on Ally Bank Auto Loans

Is Ally Bank good for auto loans?

Ally is one of the top five largest auto lenders in the U.S., partnering with some 18,000 dealerships across the nation to finance new and used auto loans. Ally offers a wide range of auto loan terms including two unique financing options: Ally Buyer’s Choice® and Ally Balloon Advantage.

Does Ally Bank have a grace period on auto loans?

The Ally Auto late payment policy allows for a minimum grace period of seven days up to a maximum grace period of 15 days. Late payment fees vary by individual loan, but the minimum late fee is 5% of the scheduled monthly payment amount.

Is Ally Bank legit?

Yes, Ally Bank is FDIC insured and safe. Though it doesn’t have physical locations like traditional banks, Ally follows the same rules and legal regulations. The FDIC insures your savings, checking, and CD accounts up to $250,000 (per depositor), just like the “old-fashioned banks.”

Can I make Ally car payment with credit card?

You can make a one-time online debit card payment through a third-party service provider for a fee. Call 1-888-925-2559 to pay over the phone. A convenience fee will apply.

Does Ally finance for recreational vehicles?

Ally offers financing for personal vehicles, business vehicles, and RVs. It can also help customers with the lease-end process.

Is an Ally Bank auto loan right for you?

Ally Bank claims to offer competitive rates and has helpful features on its auto loans. Also, it has a comprehensive lineup of protection products. Even more, 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. Due to the latter, this means you can’t find out what kind of deal you can get without going to the dealer and working with them.

Is Ally the best option for your next auto loan? It is a company to consider as it offers a wide range of auto loan and protection products.

Whether you want a regular vehicle for personal use, an RV, or vehicles for your business, you have many options, from buying and leasing to a mix of the two. However, Ally shouldn’t be the only lender you consider.

While they may offer you a good deal, it’s smart to shop around with other lenders to look at the offer in context. Once you analyze a few different companies and the rates and terms they’ll offer, you can decide if Ally is the best choice.

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.