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Ally Personal Loans Review 2021

Pros Explained

  • No application or origination fees: Many lenders charge a flat fee or percentage of the loan amount to issue the loan, which is taken out of the loan proceeds. Ally Lending doesn’t charge any application or origination fees. 
  • No prepayment penalties: You can pay off your loan early without worrying about prepayment fees from Ally. 
  • Easy online account management: Your paper loan statement will contain instructions for setting up an online account, from which you can view loan details, schedule automatic payments, and set up payment reminders. 


Cons Explained

  • Direct-to-consumer loans not available: You can’t apply for a loan on the Ally website. Instead, you’ll need to work with a healthcare provider, auto dealer, or home improvement contractor to get a loan from Ally. Payments are made directly to your service provider. 
  • No APR range disclosed: Most lenders report an APR range to help customers get an idea of what rates they might pay, but Ally doesn’t disclose this information. 
  • No autopay discount: While it’s easy to set up automatic payments from your online account, you won’t receive a rate discount for doing so. Many other lenders offer a discount for using autopay. 


Introduction

Ally Lending offers personal loans with no origination fees or prepayment penalties through service providers like doctors and contractors. Once you’re approved for a loan, the proceeds will be delivered directly to your service provider for the repairs, renovations, or services you receive. Ally does not disclose an APR range, and available amounts and terms can vary depending on your provider. 

Ally personal loans are best for people who need financing for a healthcare procedure, auto repair, or home repair or renovation. If Ally’s interest-free loan product is available through your provider, you may be able to only repay the principal of your loan without worrying about interest charges, but this could require higher payments over a shorter term. If you don’t qualify for interest-free financing, it’s important to compare your estimated rate with quotes from other lenders before making a decision. 


Company Overview

Ally Financial was founded as GMAC, a division of General Motors, in 1919. Ally originally worked with auto dealers to finance vehicles for customers. In 2010, the company rebranded, and by 2014, Ally became a publicly-traded company. 

Ally now offers online checking and savings accounts, self-directed trading and robo-advisor portfolios, and mortgage and auto loans in addition to point-of-sale financing for healthcare, vehicle repairs, and home improvements. This lender does not offer direct-to-consumer personal loans for any purpose. While Ally is an option for businesses in all 50 states, not all service providers use Ally for their financing, so it may not be an option for you. 


Types of Personal Loans Offered by Ally

Ally personal loans are only available to customers of certain service providers, like doctors and contractors. You won’t be able to apply to Ally directly, but rather you’ll need to apply through a company that offers financing with Ally. If you’re approved for a loan, funds will also go directly to your service provider. Ally offers personal loans for the following purposes:

  • Medical treatments and procedures: These include audiology, cosmetic, veterinary, dental, fertility, and orthopedic treatments and procedures through a healthcare provider.
  • Auto services: These include repairs, modifications, and collision services.
  • Home improvements: These include windows, doors, flooring, roofing, siding, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, and pool repair. 

You won’t be able to use an Ally loan to make a large purchase, consolidate debt, or pay for educational expenses. If you want flexibility with your personal loan funds, you might be better off with another lender, since Ally pays providers of specific services directly. 


Time to Receive Funds

With Ally’s personal loans, your provider will be able to tell you how quickly they can begin services once you are approved. Ally doesn’t disclose how quickly funds are disbursed to providers. 


Ally Personal Loan Features

Pre-qualification Option

Ally gives you the option to pre-qualify through your service provider with only a soft credit check. This won’t hurt your credit, and will give you an estimate of the APR you’ll receive before you formally apply. A formal application will cause a small and temporary dip in your credit score. 

Before formally applying through your service provider, compare your estimated rate with Ally to APRs from some direct-to-consumer lenders.

Interest-free Loan

Ally’s interest-free loan product isn’t available with all service providers, but it allows for payment of only the original loan amount. Depending on your provider, you may be required to make high monthly payments over a short term. If this option is available and affordable for you, you may be able to pay off your loan without incurring any borrowing costs. 

Online Account Management

Ally has an easy-to-use online platform that allows you to set up automatic payments and create alerts and reminders. You’ll be able to view your loan details and statements in one place. However, personal loan borrowers won’t have access to their loan through Ally’s mobile app like auto loan borrowers. 


Apply for an Ally Personal Loan

With Ally, the process starts when you find a service provider offering point-of-sale financing through Ally personal loans. From there, here’s what you can expect:

  1. Pre-qualify: You can get an idea of what your APR will be by pre-qualifying with Ally. This will only require a soft credit pull, which won’t hurt your credit score. 
  2. Review your options: Review the different terms and fixed-rate APRs that your service provider can offer through Ally. At this point, you may want to compare rates with a few other lenders as well. 
  3. Formally apply: Complete the application process online. This will require a hard credit check, which will likely cause a small and temporary drop in your credit score. 
  4. E-sign your documents: You’ll be able to sign all documents electronically and receive an email confirmation. 
  5. Receive service: Once you’re approved, you can begin to receive healthcare, auto repair, or home improvement service through your provider — Ally will pay them directly.
  6. Set up your online account: You can use Ally’s online lending experience to manage your account and make payments. 


Can You Refinance a Personal Loan with Ally?

Ally doesn’t offer refinancing for its personal loans at this time. If your credit improves and you want to access a lower interest rate, you could apply for a debt consolidation loan with another lender and use the funds to pay off your Ally loan. 

Ally doesn’t charge any prepayment penalties, so you can always use a lump sum personal loan from another lender to pay off your Ally balance if it will save you money on interest. 


Customer Service

Besides offering a convenient online account management system, Ally also has extended customer service hours to make it easier to find a time to call. 

  • If you have billing or online account questions, you can call Ally’s lending department at 1-888-568-0186 between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. ET, Monday through Saturday. 
  • For general lending questions, reach out to 1-800-427-9184 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. ET on weekdays or Saturdays between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET. 
  • To report fraud, call 1-833-226-1520 and choose option 5. 


Customer Satisfaction

Ally has received mixed customer service reviews on third-party review sites. On ConsumerAffairs, Ally received an average 3.5- out of 5-star rating from more than 650 reviewers. Several reviewers reported difficulties reaching a real person to get the help they needed. However, satisfied customers mentioned competitive APRs, convenience, and fast response times. 

Ally fared worse on Trustpilot, with an average rating of 1.3 out of 5 stars from 180 customers. Here, reviewers mentioned receiving slow service and talking to multiple departments before getting their issues resolved. 


Account Management

Ally makes it simple to create and manage your account online. Each paper loan statement contains instructions on how to set up your online account if you haven’t already. And you can schedule automatic payments or create alerts or reminders online. There’s also a dedicated phone number for billing questions with extended customer service hours so you can get the help you need even if you have difficulty with the online dashboard. 

Set up automatic payments as soon as you’re approved. While you won’t receive a discount, you’ll help ensure that your payments are on time, which could positively affect your credit score. 


How Ally Compares to Other Personal Loan Lenders

Ally personal loans are not as flexible as loans from other lenders, since they can only be used for specific purposes and with certain service providers. You can’t even apply with Ally directly. However, the advantage is that Ally charges few fees for its personal loans and may even offer interest-free financing with some service providers. Still, before you formally apply with Ally, it’s a good idea to compare loan options from other lenders. 

Ally vs. SoFi Personal Loans

SoFi is a direct-to-consumer personal loan lender. But it’s similar to Ally in that it offers a convenient online application with a pre-qualification option, and it doesn’t charge any origination fees or prepayment penalties. 

However, there are a few differences between these lenders:

  • SoFi personal loans can be used for almost any purpose, including travel and debt consolidation, while Ally personal loans can only be used to pay specific service providers. 
  • SoFi doesn’t charge any late fees. Ally doesn’t disclose its late fees. 
  • SoFi offers unemployment protection, so you can pause payments if you lose your job. Ally doesn’t offer this feature. 

  Ally SoFi 
APR Range 0% and up 4.99% to 19.53% with discounts
Loan Amounts  Not disclosed  $5,000 to $100,000 
Loan Terms  Not disclosed  2 to 7 years 
Fees  Not disclosed  None 

SoFi wins here due to fewer fees and the unemployment protection feature, but it’s still worth comparing rates if you’re eligible for a loan from Ally, especially if you don’t meet SoFi’s credit standards. Should your service provider offer 0% financing with terms that work for you, Ally will be a less expensive option than SoFi. 

Read our full SoFi review for more details. 


Final Verdict

Ally doesn’t provide personal loans directly to consumers, so borrowers who want flexibility with how they can use their loans will need to look elsewhere. But if you’re working with a service provider that offers point-of-sale financing through Ally, it could be a good option.

Certain providers may offer interest-free financing from Ally, and this lender doesn’t charge origination or prepayment penalties. However, Ally doesn’t disclose its rates or terms, which vary by service provider, so you’ll want to make sure to go through the pre-qualification process and compare loan options with other lenders.


Methodology

Investopedia is dedicated to providing consumers with unbiased, comprehensive reviews of personal loan lenders. We collected over 25 data points across more than 50 lenders including interest rates, fees, loan amounts, and repayment terms to ensure that our content helps users make the right borrowing decision for their needs. 


Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .

  1. Ally. “Loans for Repairs and Renovations.” Accessed Nov. 26, 2021.

  2. Ally. “Choosing a Personal Loan Lender.” Accessed Nov. 26, 2021.

  3. Ally. “Our History.” Accessed Nov. 26, 2021.

  4. Ally. “Medical Loans.” Accessed Nov. 26, 2021.

  5. ConsumerAffairs. “Ally Bank.” Accessed Nov. 26, 2021.

  6. Trustpilot. “Ally.com.” Accessed Nov. 26, 2021.