Making The Decision To Refinance Your Car Loan – 3 Things To Consider

Before you make the decision to refinance your car loan, there are some things you need to consider. This article offers tips on what to consider before refinancing your car loan:

Interest Rate

The most common reason a person wants to refinance is to get a better interest rate. Perhaps you had bad credit when you took out your car loan, and, now that your credit has improved, you want to refinance under a better interest rate. Or, perhaps the prime rate is lower now than it was when you financed, and you want to take advantage of lower rates. A lower interest rate will save you a lot of money if you have more than a year left on your car loan; however, interest rates are not the only things you need to consider.

Prepayment Penalties

So, you’ve done all of your calculations, and you know that refinancing under a better interest rate will save you a lot of money. However, you need to consider prepayment penalties in your calculations. Say that refinancing will save you $2000 over the life of your loan. If your current loan has $2000 in prepayment penalties, it’s not going to benefit you to refinance. Check your loan documents for information on prepayment penalties. If you’ll be charged them, make sure to add that amount into your calculations.

Length of the New Loan

If you currently have two years left on your loan, you’re not going to save money by refinancing under a better interest rate for a longer number of years. For example, if you’re currently paying 16% interest on a loan that has two years left on it, and you refinance for a four year loan with 8% interest, you’ll end up paying the same amount of interest. If you’re just looking for a lower monthly payment, this might be the way to go. However, if you’re looking to save money, you’ll need to add the length of the loan into your calculations.

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