pros and cons of refinancing a car

The Pros and Cons of Refinancing a Car

Why Your Credit Score Matters When Refinancing a Car

On the other hand, if your credit score has decreased, getting a new auto loan may be difficult much less a cheaper one. Poor credit scores signal to lenders that you may miss payments, so they protect themselves by denying the loan application or charging a higher rate.

Savings tip: Increase your credit score BEFORE you apply

Pros of Refinancing Your Car Loan

Choose Your Ideal Loan Term – If your current auto loan term is too long or too short for your needs, refinancing allows you to select a different term length. A shorter term like 2-3 years can save on interest but has higher payments, while a longer term like 5-6 years has lower payments but results in more interest paid. You can choose the term that suits your budget and cash flow situation.

Fixed vs. Variable Rate – If you have a variable-rate loan, monthly payments can go up if interest rates rise in the future. Refinancing from a variable to a fixed-rate loan locks in an interest rate for the life of the loan and gives you payment predictability. However, if interest rates have dropped since you took out your original loan, refinancing a fixed-rate loan to a variable-rate loan could get you a lower initial rate and lower payments, though rates and payments could increase later.

Cons of Refinancing your Car Loan

Fees and Penalties – There are potential fees to refinance a car loan. Fees such as application and appraisal fees to determine the current value of your car. Your current lender may also charge you early payment penalties if you pay off your existing loan early. Add up the fees to make sure the interest savings outweigh the fees before refinancing.

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