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When Should You Refinance Your Car Loan?

What you'll learn: When it's time to refinance your car loan

EXPECTED READ TIME: 1 MINUTE

1. Save money on interest.

Refinancing a new car essentially means converting your loan to a used-car loan, although PenFed considers current (2020) and previous model (2019) years to be a new car refinance. Since interest rates for used-car loans are normally higher than rates for new cars, refinancing won’t make any sense unless your new used-car rate will be lower than your old new-car rate.

2. Get the rate you’ve worked hard to deserve.

If you’ve tuned up your credit score since you bought your car, you might qualify for a lower interest rate. Especially if your loan is for a longer payment term, a lower rate can keep that interest snowball from gaining speed on you.

3. Make a better deal.

So your original car loan wasn’t such a hot deal. Ready for a do-over? A refinance can offer exactly that, letting you slip out from under a not-so-smart deal.

4. Lower your monthly payments.

If your budget has gotten significantly tighter since you got your car, you might need to stretch out the term of your loan to lower your monthly payments. In the long run, you’ll pay more that way, but a refinance can help if you need some serious belt-tightening in the meantime.

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