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Common car refinancing mistakes to avoid Advertiser Disclosure Advertiser Disclosure We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. Our goal is to help you make better financial choices by offering interactive financial calculators and tools, publishing original and objective content. This allows users to conduct research and evaluate information for no cost – so that you can make informed financial decisions. Bankrate has agreements with issuers, including but not limited to, American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover. How We Earn Money The products that appear on this website are provided by companies who pay us. This compensation could affect how and where products are displayed on this site, including, for example, the sequence in which they appear in the listing categories and other categories, unless prohibited by law. This applies to our loans, mortgages,, or other home loan products. This compensation, however, does not influence the information we publish, or the reviews that you see on this site. We do not cover the universe of companies or financial offerings that could be open to you. Tom Werner/Getty Images

3 minutes read. Published February 24, 2023

Written by Rebecca Betterton Written by Auto Loans Reporter Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She specializes in assisting readers with the ways and pitfalls of borrowing money to purchase cars. The article was edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate from late 2021. They are committed to helping readers gain the confidence to take control of their finances by providing concise, well-researched and informative information that breaks down otherwise complicated topics into bite-sized pieces. The Bankrate guarantee

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You have money questions. Bankrate has the answers. Our experts have been helping you master your finances for more than four years. We continually strive to provide consumers with the expert guidance and the tools necessary to make it through life’s financial journey. Bankrate adheres to a strict code of conduct , so you can trust that our content is truthful and reliable. Our award-winning editors, reporters and editors create honest and accurate information to assist you in making the right financial decisions. Our content produced by our editorial team is objective, factual and uninfluenced by our advertisers. We’re open about the ways we’re in a position to provide quality content, competitive rates, and useful tools to you by explaining how we make money. is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. We receive compensation for the promotion of sponsored goods andservices or by you clicking on certain hyperlinks on our site. So, this compensation can impact how, where and in what order products appear within listing categories and categories, unless it is prohibited by law for our mortgage, home equity and other home loan products. Other factors, such as our own website rules and whether a product is available within your area or at your personal credit score could also affect the manner in which products are featured on this site. While we strive to provide a wide range offers, Bankrate does not include the details of every credit or financial product or service. If you are having trouble making your current loan payments, — swapping your current auto loan with a new one the best method to save money and continue to drive your vehicle. However, there are a few common mistakes to avoid in order to ensure you don’t find yourself in yet another precarious financial spot. Top 7 car refinancing mistakes Avoid these common pitfalls when refinancing your vehicle loan. 1. Do not check refinancing requirements. Lenders are strict in refinancing. Check for requirements pertaining to the car’s mileage, age and the amount you have left to repay the loan. For example, lenders often require a minimum of six months paid on your loan and a balance between $3,000 to $5,000 to refinance. Tips from Bankrate

There are specific refinancing requirements on banks’ websites as well as Bankrate’s .

2. Do not contact your current lender initially. Although your current lender may not offer the lowest interest rates, it is still the most effective place to begin. Before exploring refinancing options outside the current lender, it is wise to approach them and explain your situation to determine if they are able to help. Some lenders offer , which changes the terms, payment due date or interest rate , to give borrowers financial relief. Tip from Bankrate

Even if you still follow through with refinancing the loan, it is possible that they can offer you more than an existing lender might.

3. Extending your loan time too much. The purpose of refinancing is to save money, but should you extend your loan excessively it could cost you more money over its duration. Although it will result in a lower monthly payment however, you’ll also have to pay more interest. Tips from Bankrate

Prior to term adjustment make use of auto refinances to make sure you are saving cash.

4. Do not take your credit into consideration Like most situations with loans, the credit score is used as the primary factor in approval. Therefore, you must improve your credit and prior to changing your loan. You’ll have a better chance to be eligible for the loan and leave with more money in the end. loan overall. If your credit score is 670 or more usually qualifies for borrowers with the best interest rates. Tips from Bankrate

Check your credit ahead of loan applications by using

5. Only shopping with one lender As you would in the process of obtaining your first auto loan We recommend that you compare at least three lenders. So, while signing off on the initial loan offer might be tempting, not all options are all created equally. The lower the interest rate, the less you’ll pay for your car payment. You want to ensure you’re getting the most competitive rate out there. Tips for Bankrate

Compare the current rates provided by a variety of lenders. Be aware of the eligibility requirements, repayment options, and how it compares to the current loan.

6. Being upside down on your loan Before refinancing, check where the equity of your vehicle is with an . Equity is the sum by which the value of the car is higher than the amount that you owe on the auto loan. If you have debt that is greater than what your car is worth or you have equity that is negative refinancing your loan is probably not the best option. Tips from Bankrate

Don’t refinance a vehicle you can’t afford. Check where your may be overextending and estimate the costs prior to signing an additional loan.

7. Giving up after your first rejection loan refinancing guidelines differ from lender to lender So just because you were denied by one lender doesn’t mean that you’ll be rejected by all. If you’re thinking, “Why can’t I refinance my car?” you have the right to inquire with the lender to explain the reasons under the (ECOA). They have to explain why your application was not approved. Bankrate tip

Understanding why you were denied will improve your chances of getting approval later on. For example, if you have a credit score that is too low You can work towards improving it prior to applying next time.

The bottom line: While refinancing your car loan can come with risks, it is a great way to lower the cost of your monthly payments and keep affording your vehicle. Be aware of these mistakes common to all in mind and be up-to-date on the latest trends so that you can walk away with the best loan for your requirements.


Written by Auto Loans Reporter Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She specializes in assisting readers with the details of borrowing money to buy a car. The article was edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate since the end of 2021. They are committed to helping readers gain confidence to manage their finances through providing concise, well-studied information that breaks down otherwise complicated topics into digestible pieces.

Auto loans editor

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