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Auto Loan, Reviews

The Best Auto Loans: 2020 New & Used Car Loan Rates

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

The best auto loan for you depends on your priorities, but two common goals are to get the most competitive rate and the lowest monthly payment. That’s why longer-term loans are so popular right now, with more people stretching out new and used car loans over 60 months or more. Despite that, new and used car payments hit an all-time high in 2017, meaning that people are spending more than ever on their vehicle purchases. That’s why MagnifyMoney has compiled a list of the best auto loans in 2020. We know that with rising rates, you need as much help as you can get finding the best rates to secure the vehicle you want and need.

Overview of the best auto loans in 2020

Company name

Best for

Loan types offered

 

LendingTree

Comparison shopping auto loan rates - LendingTree is not a lender.

New, used, refinance, lease-buyout

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingTree is our parent company

LightStream

Car buyers with good or excellent credit

New, used, refinance, lease-buyout

APPLY NOW Secured

on Lightstream’s secure website

Capital One

Car buyers with fair or poor credit

New, used, refinance

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Carvana Auto Loan

Buying a used car online

Used

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

How we picked the best auto loan rates

Using information from LendingTree, we compiled auto loan data over a six month period spanning across 22 auto lenders. We analyzed the loan data by applicant credit tier, and whether the loans were to purchase a used or new car to determine 1) the lenders consumers chose most often, and 2) the lowest average APR offered by the lender.

A closer look at the best new and used auto loans

Start with LendingTree

With LendingTree, you can fill out one short online form, and there are dozens of lenders ready to compete for your business. Upon completing the form, you can see real interest rates and approval information instantly. Some auto lenders will do a hard pull on your credit and this is common with auto lending. It’s important to remember, multiple hard pulls will only count as one pull, so the best strategy is to have all your hard pulls done at one time.

LendingTree
APR

As low as
3.99%

Terms

24 To 84

months

Fees

Varies

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingTree is our parent company

LendingTree is our parent company. LendingTree is unique in that they allow you to compare multiple, auto loan offers within minutes. Everything is done online. LendingTree is not a lender, but their service connects you with up to five offers from auto loan lenders based on your creditworthiness.

Where people with good credit (680+) get the lowest rates on car loans

LightStream

LightStream is the online consumer lending division of SunTrust Bank. LightStream seeks to make the online lending process easy, so you may apply, be approved, sign your loan agreement and receive your funds all through your computer or mobile device — no papers to fill out or sign.

Why we chose Lightstream
Out of the lenders compared, borrowers with good and excellent credit were most likely to choose a loan with LightStream and receive the lowest APR. You can read our full LightStream review here.

New auto loan product details

  • APR: See table below
  • Terms offered: 24 – 84months
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 - $100,000

Lightstream New Auto Loan APRs

Loan Amount

Loan Term (months) *

24 - 36

37 - 48

49 - 60

61 - 72

73 - 84

$5,000 to $9,999

5.24% - 6.79%

5.84% - 7.39%

6.29% - 7.84%

6.59% - 8.14%

6.79% - 8.34%

$10,000 to $24,999

3.99% - 5.99%

4.44% - 6.24%

4.69% - 6.49%

4.94% - 6.74%

5.14% - 6.94%

$25,000 to $49,999

4.44% - 5.99%

4.69% - 6.24%

4.94% - 6.49%

5.19% - 6.74%

5.39% - 6.94%

$50,000 to $100,000

4.44% - 5.99%

4.69% - 6.24%

4.94% - 6.49%

5.14% - 6.69%

5.29% - 6.84%

As of 12/10/19. Includes a 0.50 point discount for autopay. Exact rates depend on your credit profile.

Used auto loan product details

  • APR: See table below.
  • Terms offered: 24 – 84 months
  • Loan Amounts: $5,000 - $100,000

LightStream Used Auto Loan APRs

Loan Amount

Loan Term (months) *

24 - 36

37 - 48

49 - 60

61 - 72

73 - 84

$5,000 to $9,999

5.24% - 6.79%

5.84% - 7.39%

6.29% - 7.84%

6.59% - 8.14%

6.79% - 8.34%

$10,000 to $24,999

3.99% - 5.99%

4.44% - 6.24%

4.69% - 6.49%

4.94% - 6.74%

5.14% - 6.94%

$25,000 to $49,999

4.44% - 5.99%

4.69% - 6.24%

4.94% - 6.49%

5.19% - 6.74%

5.39% - 6.94%

$50,000 to $100,000

4.44% - 5.99%

4.69% - 6.24%

4.94% - 6.49%

5.14% - 6.69%

5.29% - 6.84%

As of 12/10/19. Includes a 0.50 point discount for autopay. Exact rates are dependent on your credit profile and for purchases made from dealer. 

What we like

  • Fixed rate, simple interest fully amortizing installment loans. This means you won’t pay interest on your interest, and if you follow the payment schedule, your loan will be fully paid off at the end of the term.
  • No fees or prepayment penalties
  • No restrictions on the vehicles year, make, model or mileage
  • If you’re not 100% satisfied, Lightstream will pay you $100 (conditions apply)

Where it may fall short

  • Loans may not be used for a cash-out refinance
  • Secured loans may not be used for commercial vehicles
  • Vehicle must be classified as automobile, sport-utility vehicle (SUV), light-duty truck, passenger or conversion van
  • No phone support for customer service. Everything is handled by email

How to apply
Before you apply, keep in mind that you’ll need to:

  • Have good credit
  • Have sufficient income and assets
  • Agree to electronic records and signatures

Applying is done entirely online. You’ll provide:

  • Personal information. Name, address, phone, Social Security number, driver’s license, etc.
  • Employment information. Employer name and address, income and other financial assets
  • Loan information. Loan purpose, loan amount and term
  • Security information. Create a username and password
LightStream

APPLY NOW Secured

on Lightstream’s secure website

Where people with fair (620-679) & bad credit (500-619) get the lowest rates

Capital One Auto Finance

Capital One is a Fortune 500 company and a trusted name in banking and other financial services. In the fourth quarter of 2017, Capital One originated $6.215 billion worth of auto loans, making it one of the top five U.S. banks offering auto loans.

Why we chose Capital One
The most borrowers with fair and bad credit chose a loan with Capital One, and it came in second in terms of lowest average APR.

New auto loan product details

  • APR: See table below
  • Terms offered: 36 – 84 months
  • Loan Amounts: $4,000 - $40,000

Capital One new auto loan APRs

Credit

Loan Term (months) *

36

48

60

72

Rebuilding

7.45%

7.99%

7.99%

10.97%

Average

4.76%

5.16%

5.16%

6.42%

Excellent

3.99%

3.99%

3.99%

3.99%

Current as of 7/31/19

Used auto loan product details

  • APR: See table below
  • Terms offered: 36 – 84 months
  • Loan Amounts: $4,000 - $40,000

Capital One used auto loan APRs

Credit

Loan Term (months) *

36

48

60

72

Rebuilding

11.11%

12.55%

12.55%

13.98%

Average

5.90%

7.36%

7.36%

8.95%

Excellent

4.53%

4.54%

4.54%

5.30%

Current as of 7/31/19

What we like

  • Easy to pre-qualify online without a hard inquiry on your credit
  • Minimum monthly income required is $1,500 or $1,800, depending on your credit
  • 12,000 auto dealers work with Capital One

Where it may fall short

  • The best rates require excellent credit with 20% down on the vehicle
  • Vehicles must be 2006 or newer
  • Vehicles must have less than 120,000 miles
  • Dealers may charge additional fees, including document fees, dealer preparation fees and delivery charges
  • Maximum loan amount may not cover the cost of the vehicle you desire

How to apply
Apply using Capital One’s Auto Navigator. Enter your personal information including your Social Security number to get pre-qualified for an auto loan without affecting your credit. Then take your financing certificate to the dealership to shop for cars and make a selection. Once you’ve selected a vehicle, the dealer will have you fill out a credit application and you’ll finalize the paperwork for your vehicle purchase with the dealer.

Capital One

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Carvana

Carvana specializes in helping you shop for a car online. It uses things such as 360-degree photos, free vehicle history reports, details and specs, ratings and reviews to provide you with the maximum amount of information.

Why we chose them
We looked at the three used auto lenders chosen most often in each credit tier, and Carvana was the only lender in the top three in every tier. That’s why we chose Carvana, even though other lenders offered lower average APRs on used auto loans.

Product details – Used auto loans only

  • APR: APR depends on credit history, vehicle type and down payment.
  • Terms offered: Up to 72 months.
  • Minimum loan amount: None
  • Maximum loan amount: Any amount, as long as it’s a vehicle listed on the Carvana website.

What we like

  • High level of detail on vehicles makes online shopping easy
  • Online application personalizes your shopping experience and doesn’t require a hard pull on your credit
  • You can return the vehicle within seven days and get your money back (Make sure you’re familiar with the limits on this policy before you buy)
  • All vehicles are certified with a 150-point inspection

Where it may fall short

  • Only available for used vehicles
  • Carvana is a car dealership, and you must select a vehicle through their website

Online experience
Carvana provides a lot of information about each vehicle. You won’t have to visit other sites to find specs or read reviews

When you fill out the online application, you’ll see a breakdown of your monthly payment, minimum required down payment and your APR, making your shopping experience truly personalized.
How to apply
You may get pre-qualified with Carvana without a hard pull on your credit by filling out the online application. After you complete it, you may start shopping for a used vehicle, and your payment, down payment and APR will be displayed for each vehicle. Keep in mind, with Carvana, you must purchase a vehicle in their inventory.

Carvana

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Understanding the auto loans process

How do car loans work?

For the lenders we detailed above, you may apply for a loan online and receive personalized loan rates without a hard pull to your credit. So while you don’t see rate tables on certain lender websites, don’t be discouraged. If you’re serious, just fill out an application to see what you may qualify for.

Once you’ve completed the initial application, you’ll be able to shop for a vehicle knowing which type of financing you’ll likely qualify for.

Once you’ve selected a vehicle, you’ll need to submit a full application for the loan. This can be done online or with a dealer, if you’re working with one. Once again, most lenders are streamlining this process online, so for the lenders we discussed on this page, you may upload your documents using a computer or mobile device.

Once you’ve purchased the vehicle and completed your loan documents, you’ll just need to make payments. Making payments has moved online as well, and many lenders offer apps to help you manage your payments and loan information using your mobile device.

Tips when shopping for car loans

Here are some tips to help you avoid common mistakes and shop confidently for a car loan.

  • Set a budget. Everyone says it, but it’s not always easy to do. If you aren’t keeping a budget, here’s how to start in four easy steps.
  • Know how much you can afford. MagnifyMoney suggests you keep your total car expense less than 10% of your monthly budget. This is part of the 20/4/10 rule, which also says you should put down at least 20% and choose a maximum loan term of four years.
  • Save for a down payment. The amount of your down payment is likely to affect the interest rate you receive when financing your vehicle. So saving for a larger payment will help save you money and putting more down will lower your monthly payment, too.
  • Check your credit. You’re entitled to a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus every 12 months, and it’s easy to get your free credit score from a variety of sources.
  • Consider a co-signer. If your credit score is low or you have a limited credit history that needs improvement, having a co-signer with good credit on your auto loan could significantly lower your interest rate.
  • Shop around. It’s smart to get multiple rate quotes, so you may compare loans.
  • Get pre-approved. Shopping for a vehicle doesn’t make a lot of sense if you don’t know how much money you’ll have to work with. Shoppers have many options for getting auto loan quotes without a hard inquiry on their credit, but if you’re serious about buying a car, doing all your loan shopping in a short period of time will minimize the potential impact on your credit score, if loan applications result in a hard pull.
  • Talk to local credit unions. While banks and online auto loan companies offer easy-to-use online tools, don’t forget to talk to your local credit union to see if it has a more competitive rate.
  • Beware of extra fees. Keep in mind you’ll need to pay state taxes and title fees. In addition, dealers may charge fees, including document fees, dealer preparation fees and delivery charges. These fees will affect your APR if you finance them into your loan.
  • Check your paperwork. Everyone makes mistakes. When you get the final copy of your auto loan, check to make sure you got everything you were promised and there are no extra fees.

How to apply for an auto loan

From choosing the right car to getting approved for financing, this article will walk you through the complete online car buying process.

When you apply for an auto loan, it will help to have your documentation ready. This will include proof of identity, proof of income, credit and banking history and proof of residence. If you’ve selected a vehicle, you also want that information, including VIN, mileage, year, make and model.

While many online lenders advertise the loan process as being quick, be prepared for roadblocks. Sometimes a lender may request additional information or take time to verify information, and that may delay the process.

Be proactive! Once you’ve started the auto loan process, the lender will walk you through what’s needed. But that doesn’t mean you have to wait for your lender to get back to you. If the loan process has stalled, make a call or send an email to your lender asking what’s needed. In many cases, you’ll have an online login that will allow you to see your loan status, or take the next step online.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Ralph Miller
Ralph Miller |

Ralph Miller is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Ralph here

Advertiser Disclosure

Earning Cashback, Reviews

Chase Freedom or Discover it: Who is the King of 5% Bonus Cash?

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

Chase Freedom or Discover it: Who is the King of 5% Bonus Cash?

If you’re going to use a credit card, choosing one that rewards you for spending is a given. Choosing the right card? That’s another story. With so many cards offering similar cash back programs and terms it can be difficult to choose one over another.

For example, should you get the Chase Freedom® or Discover it® Cash Back?

Both offer 5% cash back categories that change each quarter, with that 5% limited to your first $1,500 in spending on those categories each quarter. Where they differ is in the actual 5% bonus categories, the introductory bonus offer, and some fine print.

In this post, we’re going to dissect both cards and how they stack up against each other.

Chase Freedom®

Chase Freedom®

The information related to Chase Freedom® has been independently collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Chase Freedom®

Regular Purchase APR
16.49% - 25.24% Variable
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

With Chase Freedom®, you can Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. Earn a $150 Bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

Discover it® Cash Back

Discover it® Cash Back

APPLY NOW Secured

on Discover Bank’s secure website

Rates & Fees

Discover it® Cash Back

Regular APR
13.49% - 24.49% Variable
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically.

You earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like grocery stores, gas stations, Uber and Lyft, restaurants, and Amazon.com up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. The 5% is limited to $1,500 spending per quarter, 1% after that.

  • January – March 2020 – Grocery stores, Walgreens and CVS
  • April – June 2020 – Gas Stations, Uber and Lyft, wholesale clubs
  • July – September 2020 – Restaurants and PayPal
  • October – December 2020 – Amazon.com, Target.com, and Walmart.com

All other purchases get unlimited 1% cash back, automatically. You can redeem cash back for gifts cards, statement credits, charitable donations, deposits to an account or merchandise.

Aside from the cash back program, Discover it® has special introductory offers. There’s an intro APR of 0% for 14 months on purchases and balance transfers. There is a 3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)*.

Pros and Cons

Now, let’s dive into the pros and cons of both cash back programs.

Chase Freedom®

Pro: A competitive intro bonus for small spenders. Earn a $150 Bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
This sign-on bonus is great perk for new customers.

Pro: Flexible points. While you can always use your points for cash back, the Freedom earns Chase Ultimate Rewards® points. That means you can also use them for travel, gift cards, and other items. In addition, if you have another card that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards® points you can combine the points for more reward opportunities.

Con: You need to activate your 5% bonus. Another negative of the Chase Freedom® card is the 5% bonus category requires activation each quarter. If you forget to subscribe to the program, you’ll only get 1% cash back for all spending, so this is a card that you’ll have to actively manage. Plus, the 5% bonus categories are announced quarterly, so it can be difficult to plan ahead.

Discover it® Cash Back

Pro: A good introductory offer for big spenders. You can get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically (new cardmembers only). That can really add up if you tend to be a big spender, though the catch is that bonus double cash back doesn’t hit your account until the very end of your first year. The Chase Freedom®‘s introductory offer hits your account after just 3 months worth of spending.

Con: You need to activate your 5% bonus. Like the Chase Freedom® card, Discover it® makes you subscribe to the 5% bonus place each quarter. You can set up email reminders, but it’s still a hassle to actively opt-in instead of being about to set that on auto pilot. So, again, this isn’t a card where you can passively earn cash back.

When to Consider Both Cards

Now, it’s possible to have the best of both worlds if it makes sense.

You can get both cards and alternate use throughout quarters so you can take advantage of both card’s 5% bonus categories to get 5% on more of your spending.

Of course, you’ll have to remember to activate each bonus category and label the cards in your wallet to know which one to use at what time.

But, if you spend in these areas anyway why not earn cash back for doing so?

There’s no annual fee for either card.

Other Cash Back Card Options

Visa® Platinum Rewards Credit Card from Nusenda Credit Union

Visa® Platinum Rewards Credit Card from Nusenda Credit Union

Regular Purchase APR
11.00% - 15.00% Variable
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
Earn 3 bonus points, or 5% cash back, respectively, for every dollar they spend on purchases for movies, restaurants, and home improvements (up to $1,500 per quarter).

The Visa® Platinum Rewards Credit Card from Nusenda Credit Unionlet you Earn 3 bonus points, or 5% cash back, respectively, for every dollar they spend on purchases for movies, restaurants, and home improvements (up to $1,500 per quarter). Rates are 11.00% - 15.00% Variable APR with no balance transfer fee. There’s an intro 5% APR Intro Rate for all Balance Transfers (first six cycles after card opening).

Even better, you don’t have to activate the categories each quarter. Here are the 5% cash back categories in detail:

  • January to March – Groceries and gas expenses
  • April to June – Movies, restaurants and home improvement
  • July to September – Gas and education expenses
  • October to December – Restaurants, hotels and airfare

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

Regular Purchase APR
15.74% - 25.24%* (Variable)
Annual fee
$0*
Rewards Rate
5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible net purchases ($100 per quarter) on two categories you choose. That adds up to $400 cash back!

The U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card has a rewards program that’s a little different than all three offers above. With this card you can earn 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible net purchases ($100 per quarter) on two categories you choose. That adds up to $400 cash back!

Which Card Will Benefit You the Most?

Overall, the Chase Freedom® and Discover it® Cash Backare similar cards. Both earn 5% cash back in revolving categories (up to $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter you activate). If you’re making a choice of one over the other, your choice would ultimately depend on your spending habits, so you can use the card (or a combination of both cards) to maximize your regular purchases.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Taylor Gordon
Taylor Gordon |

Taylor Gordon is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Taylor here

Advertiser Disclosure

Reviews

GTE Financial Reviews: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market and IRA Accounts

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

GTE Financial’s checking account options

Go Premium with GTE Secure

Hands-down one of the highest-yielding checking accounts on the market. Just make sure you can meet deposit and transaction requirements.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
1.00%
None (Max: $3,000)
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $4.95 if you do not deposit at least $500 a month, enroll in eStatements and make at least 15 transactions per month that don’t involve using your debit PIN.
  • ATM fee: $3 at all out-of-network ATMS
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35

GTE Financial’s Go Premium with GTE Secure checking account comes with a phenomenal dividend rate for all balances less than $3,000. The account also provides fraud-fighting and resolution services, prescription drug and vision savings, and a points reward program. To earn those dividends without a monthly maintenance fee, though, you want to make sure you cross all your t’s and dot your i’s.

First, you need to ensure you deposit at least $500 a month. Those with a regular paycheck should be able to do this by setting up direct deposit. You will also have to enroll in eStatements, and make sure you’re making at least 15 transactions a month.

If you can meet all these requirements, this is one of the highest-yielding checking accounts on the market.

How to get GTE Financial’s Go Premium checking account

You can easily open this checking account online, though if you live close to a branch, you can open it in person, too.

LEARN MORE Secured

on GTE Financial’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Go Full Access

This is a bare-bones checking account that bears no dividends.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $4.95 unless you are enrolled in eStatements and do one of the following: deposit $500-plus per month or have 15 transactions per month that don’t involve using your debit PIN.
  • ATM fee: $3 at all out-of-network ATMS
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35

Go Full Access is your standard checking account, but it doesn’t bear any dividends. You must be enrolled in eStatements to avoid a monthly maintenance fee, but unlike Go Premium accounts, you only have to deposit $500 a month or make 15 transactions. If you can do both, you’d be far better off opting for the Go Premium account, though.

How to get GTE Financial’s Go Full Access checking account

As with all of GTE Financial’s checking accounts, you can open a Go Full Access checking account either in person or online.

LEARN MORE Secured

on GTE Financial’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Go Student

An account for students that waives many common fees.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $3 at all out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: One per month from outside financial institution
  • Overdraft fee: $35

While GTE Financial’s Go Student checking account does not yield any dividends, it does waive a lot of fees as students get comfortable managing money on their own. It’s the only checking account at this credit union without any monthly maintenance fee. It also comes with one waived nonsufficient funds or overdraft fee per month, and it is the only account here that offers any refund of ATM fees charged by outside financial institutions or ATM owners.

How to get GTE Financial’s Go Student checking account

Students can open their account at a branch or online.

LEARN MORE Secured

on GTE Financial’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Go Further

An account to help you reboot your financial life.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $9.95 if you are not enrolled in eStatements. You must also make a minimum of $500 in deposits per month and make 15 transactions that don’t involve using your debit PIN each month if you want this fee waived.
  • ATM fee: $3 at all out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35

If you’ve had a spotty banking history in the past — whether due to circumstances in or beyond your control — your financial institution may have added you to the CHEXSystem. Once in the CHEXSystem, it can be extremely difficult to get another bank account. Because credit unions are community-focused, some offer checking accounts specifically to give you the opportunity to prove you can do better and re-enter the mainstream banking system.

GTE Financial is one of those credit unions, and the Go Further checking account is their account to help. It does not come with any dividends, but it does allow you full access to a traditional checking account without any check-cashing fees. It has a $9.95-a-month maintenance fee, which will be waived if you enroll in eStatements, make a minimum of $500 in deposits per month or make 15 non-debit card/PIN transactions per month.

If you’re meeting all these requirements anyways, after you rebuild your banking reputation you may even be able to qualify for those high APY rates on the Go Premium account.

How to get GTE Financial’s Go Further checking account

You can easily open your Go Further checking account online or in person.

LEARN MORE Secured

on GTE Financial’s secure website

NCUA Insured

magnifying glass

How GTE Financial’s checking accounts compare

In a world of online banks, most often it’s the financial institutions with no brick-and-mortar overhead costs that can offer the highest rates. GTE Financial’s checking account options buck that norm.

With rates that top even the best online checking accounts, Go Premium checking is one of the best on the market. While the Go Student checking account doesn’t offer any dividends, it is extremely generous in the fees it waives as young people learn how to responsibly manage their finances, and Go Further checking gives a second shot to those who would normally be shut out of the conventional financial system.

While the Go Full Access checking account doesn’t carry the same bragging rights as GTE Financial’s other checking accounts — especially as it bears no dividends — it is nice that the credit union offers a checking account with more flexible ways to evade the monthly maintenance fee.

GTE Financial’s savings account options

Member Owner Share

A standard savings account necessary to establish credit union membership. Also standard is the small dividend earned.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%
$100
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $3 at all out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35

When you join GTE Financial, your Member Owner Share savings will anchor your membership. You will not earn any APY until you reach a balance of $100, and even then, the rate isn’t anything to write home about. But this account does avoid monthly maintenance fees.

Opening this account is a requirement of membership, so it doesn’t matter if you’re in love with the APY. You have to have it.

You also must know that savings accounts, in general, are regulated by the federal government. Specifically, Regulation D dictates that you are allowed to make up to six certain withdrawals per month from your savings account, unless they’re made in person, at an ATM or as part of a GTE Financial loan payment. If you exceed the six withdrawal-per-month limit, GTE Financial will not let you make any further transactions that month unless you’re doing so at an ATM, in person or via fax. This rule applies to all savings accounts and not just Member Owner Share account.

How to get GTE Financial’s Member Owner Share savings account

You will be prompted to open this account when you sign up for membership, whether you do so online or at your local branch.

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Special Savings

An additional share savings account to set aside money for an independent goal.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%
$100
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $3 at all out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35

If you want to set aside money for a specific goal — such as a wedding, new car or holiday gift purchases — you can do so by opening an additional share savings account. This Special Savings account is identical to regular share savings in terms of APY and fees, though there is no minimum opening deposit requirement.

While setting up a second account with GTE Financial may be convenient, it’s not your best option. You can get far higher rates elsewhere, and unlike the Member Owner Share savings product, this is not a mandatory account.

How to get GTE Financial’s Special Share Savings

Should you opt to open a Special Share Savings account, you can do so online or in person.

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Future Change Savings

Round up your purchases to throw extra money at your loans.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%
$100
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $3 at all out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35

Future Change Savings is a unique account. At first glance, it looks identical to the Special Savings account, but under the hood there’s a lot more going on.

This account links with your checking account to round up your daily purchases to the nearest dollar. The extra change is then deposited into your Future Change Savings account. With the account’s corresponding app, you will then be able to view how applying the money from this savings account to your GTE Financial auto loan or mortgage would affect your finances long term.

If you do decide to apply the savings from this account toward your debt, remember that you are allowed up to six certain withdrawals/electronic transfers per month or you risk violating Regulation D.

How to get GTE Financial’s Future Change Savings

To open this account, you will have to download the app from Google Play or the iTunes App Store. From there, you’ll be prompted to enter your checking account and loan information to link to your new account.

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Early Saver

GTE Financial offers higher rates for children who save.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
1.00%
$0.01
0.10%
$500
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $3 at all out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35

If you want to teach your child about savings, GTE Financial offers an option for that. Children younger than 17 can open an Early Saver account, which offers a much higher APY on balances up to $500 before reverting to the same rate as a regular share savings account.

This higher rate is encouraging as it will better illustrate how interest works for your child, though it will be a bummer when they turn 18 and the account converts into a regular share savings account with a lower rate of return.

How to get GTE Financial’s Early Saver Account

Accounts for children ages 12 and younger must be opened in person, but children 13 through 17 can open an account online.

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How GTE Financial’s savings accounts compare

Funnily enough, kids are the only ones getting a decent rate out of GTE Financial savings accounts. The Early Saver Account rates are extremely competitive, though that doesn’t much help the adults in the room.

The dividends on adult accounts also pale in comparison to the competition. You will need some money in your regular share savings to maintain membership, and the Future Change Savings account is an innovative product. But at the end of the day, you’re getting the short end of the stick with GTE Financial’s offered APY and terms on savings. Shop around to find better savings account rates.

GTE Financial’s CD rates

Share Certificates

A fairly competitive certificate product with a low barrier to entry.
TermAPY
6 Months1.26%
12 Months2.02%
18 Months2.27%
24 Months2.53%
30 Months2.68%
60 Months3.04%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty:
    • 3 months’ worth of interest for certificates with terms up to 12 months
    • 6 months’ worth of interest for certificates with terms greater than 12 months

Share Certificates are the credit union equivalent of certificates of deposit, or CDs. GTE Financial’s rates are relatively competitive, but they’re not the best on the market, either. One thing that does make them abundantly attractive, though, is that the minimum opening deposit is on the far low end for CDs offering similar rates of return.

How to get GTE Financial’s CDs

You can open your Share Certificate at a branch or online. If your opening balance will be $5,000 or more, you’ll be required to make that in-person visit or call 888-871-2690, ext. 40535.

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Jumbo Share Certificates

Even more competitive rates but with a high barrier to entry.
TermAPY
6 Months1.51%
12 Months2.27%
18 Months2.53%
24 Months2.78%
30 Months2.94%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $100,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty:
    • 3 months’ worth of interest for certificates with terms up to 12 months
    • 6 months’ worth of interest for certificates with terms greater than 12 months

Have some extra money to throw at your Share Certificate? If you can get a balance of $100,000 or more, you will qualify for Jumbo Share Certificate rates on terms of up to 30 months, which are 0.25% higher than those of regular Share Certificate. This small bump is enough to start closing the gap between GTE Financial and the competition, though with a $100,000 minimum, the pool of people who will be able to access this increased rate will be small.

How to get GTE Financial’s Jumbo Share Certificate

All Jumbo Share Certificates must be opened in person or via phone by calling 888-871-2690, ext. 40535.

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Youth Share Certificate

Teach your child valuable money lessons on the cost of APY.
TermAPY
12 Months0.75%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $100
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 3 months’ worth of interest

Youth Share Certificates offer extremely low rates, but also allow your child to open a certificate with as little as $100. They will also be able to add up to $6,000 in additional funding throughout the 12-month term. Opening a Youth Share Certificate is likely something you’d do as a hands-on lesson for your child rather than a gift. The yield simply isn’t high enough unless you’re taking the hit to impart an experiential lesson.

How to get GTE Financial’s Youth Share Certificate

Your child can open a Youth Share Certificate at a branch or online.

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How GTE Financial’s CD rates compare

Overall, GTE Financial’s certificate options are just all right. While rates on Share Certificates and Jumbo Share Certificates are relatively competitive, they’ve got some stiff CD competition. Given the fact that the competition doesn’t always have the same low minimum deposit requirement as GTE Financial, though, regular Share Certificates may be able to take a small hit in APY and remain competitive.

Youth Share Accounts aren’t a great product if you’re looking only at yield, but if you’re trying to give your child their own financial experiences before they leave home, it can be a good product to achieve that goal.

GTE Financial’s money market account options

Money Market

Low rates and excess maintenance fees make it acceptable to overlook this money market option.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.15%
$2,500
0.25%
$10,000
0.35%
$50,000
0.55%
$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: Varies depending on desired rate
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $6 every month your account has no activity
  • ATM fee: $3 at all out-of-network ATMS
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35

GTE Financial’s Money Market account is lackluster. First of all, the rates are not competitive. In fact, they’re extremely low. On top of that, GTE Financial is one of the few financial institutions that charge maintenance fees on its money market accounts without minimum balance restrictions. If you have no account activity, you’ll get charged. You cannot set and forget your money market account with this credit union.

You also need to remember that money market accounts are technically savings accounts, and are thus subject to the same rules and restrictions under Regulation D. That means you are allowed to make up to six certain withdrawals from your money market account per month — even if you’re trying to keep it active to avoid that monthly maintenance fee.

How to get GTE Financial’s Money Market Account

Should you choose to open a money market account with GTE Financial, you can do so at a branch or online.

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How GTE Financial’s money market account compares

Frankly, GTE Financial’s Money Market account isn’t in the same league as the best options on the market. By shopping around for other money market accounts, you’ll be able to find rates that are up to seven times greater than that offered by this credit union, and many of these accounts offer these higher rates without any maintenance fee.

GTE Financial’s IRA options

IRA CD rates

IRA Share Certificates

GTE Financial’s certificate rates start to look less attractive when placed into the realm of IRA certificates.
TermAPY
6 Months0.65%
12 Months1.00%
18 Months1.26%
24 Months1.41%
30 Months1.46%
60 Months1.76%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty:
    • 3 months’ worth of interest for certificates with terms up to 12 months
    • 6 months’ worth of interest for certificates with terms greater than 12 months

GTE Financial’s Share Certificates aren’t a bad choice when you’re looking outside of your IRA. But their rates are carbon copied into the credit union’s IRA certificate, where they start looking a bit less competitive. The low minimum balance requirement is still attractive, but it only goes so far when you’re looking at long-term growth on an already conservative portfolio holding.

How to get GTE Financial’s IRA CDs

To set up an IRA Share Certificate, call 813-871-2690.

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Youth Share Certificate

Low rates on tax-advantaged accounts for children.
TermAPY
12 Months0.75%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $100
  • Early withdrawal penalty:
    • 3 months’ worth of interest for certificates with terms up to 12 months
    • 6 months’ worth of interest for certificates with terms greater than 12 months

Yes, even your child can open an IRA — a Roth IRA specifically. Your child must have earned income to contribute. Keep in mind that if they’re using baby-sitting or landscaping income, they’ll have to report it to the IRS on a Schedule C to use it toward their Roth IRA contributions.

While they will be able to withdraw earnings from their Roth IRA to pay for qualified educational expenses without paying a penalty, they may have to pay income taxes on their earnings when they make this kind of withdrawal. Because this account will be custodial with a parent or guardian, it could also adversely affect their chances for financial aid.

On top of it all, the rates on GTE Financial’s Youth Share Certificates leave much to be desired. A Roth IRA is not the place to teach lessons about certificates. If you’re going to open a custodial account anyways, you might as well look at other options and find an account with a higher yield.

How to get GTE Financial’s Youth Share Certificates

All IRA products must be opened by calling 813-871-2690.

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How GTE Financial’s IRA CD rates compare

Youth Share Certificates and Share Certificates are not a great way to go when it comes to IRA CDs. But rates on Jumbo Share Certificates are relatively competitive if you have the money to finance one for the higher rates. Regardless, be sure to shop around to ensure you’re getting the best deal possible on an IRA CD.

Overall review of GTE Financial’s banking products

GTE Financial is a mixed bag when it comes to personal deposit accounts. Its money market accounts can be passed over, as can a couple of its savings accounts. Its IRA certificates are only worth investigating at the jumbo level, and certificates outside of an IRA barely squeak by as competitive.

But most of the credit union’s checking accounts are worth a closer look, whether they’re offering some of the best rates on the market, limiting fees on young people or welcoming back those who have been pushed out of the traditional banking system. It also has some innovative products, such as Future Change Savings, and offers children great rates on their savings accounts.

GTE Financial has some interesting products. Definitely include it in your search, but make sure you investigate each product individually before deciding it’s the right match for you.

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Brynne Conroy
Brynne Conroy |

Brynne Conroy is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brynne here