When Is It a Good Idea to Refinance Your Car Loan?

man holding a chart in front of a car

When it’s an emergency, a car loan is a great way to get money fast, especially if you have bad credit. Once everything settles down, it’s a matter of paying your debts on time. If you have problems paying off your car title loans or you’re looking for lower interest rates, you may want to refinance your car loan to get a better deal.

An auto refinance is a tool that every borrower needs to know. Even then, it’s important for everyone to understand that not every refinancing is made equal. You need to consider the right time to get better car loan rates. 

So, when is it a good idea to refinance your car loan? This guide will help you figure out when that option is a right move for you.

What is Refinancing?

Before we teach you how to refinance, you need to understand some refinancing 101 terms to make everything easier. Refinancing loans allows you to pay and close whatever existing loan you have while you replace it with a new loan with better payment terms. Lowering a massive interest rate, for example, can be helpful for your daily needs, helping you save money in the long run.

In your case, you may want to refinance car loans for several reasons. These include:

  • Lower car loan rates
  • Shorten payment term
  • Prevent defaulting on a car loan
  • Borrow extra cash on top

You can do refinancing with the same lender or you can pick a different lending company to pay off your original loan. 

The key to successful refinancing is communication with the lender, preferably starting with your original lender. If you are happy with your current lending team, it’s best to stay with them.  

How To Refinance Your Car Title Loans

In order to refinance your car loan, you would need to follow a few steps, starting with an inquiry. Communicate with your loan provider that you are looking to refinance the deal. Those who don’t want to refinance with their current lenders can go to a different loan service provider altogether.

You would then need to collect all pertinent documents, which may include:

  • Copy of the original loan certificate
  • Certificate of vehicle inspection detailing if there are material repairs/changes to the vehicle since the original date of the loan
  • Title of the vehicle, including VIN number
  • Proof of identification

You would also need to know at what point you are within the current payoff so you will know how much more you need to pay to close the debt. Unlike title loans, refinancing car loan rates will request your credit score and your ability to pay for it. You can get a paid service to do credit checks for you, otherwise, you can authorize your potential lender to do the check.

Once everything is cleared, you can check with your lender on the loan repayment plans they have available for you. Consider the duration and interest of the new plan. New car loan rates would need to work within your existing budget. You don’t want to overextend yourself, putting into consideration your current financial situation.

When Should You Refinance Your Car Loan?

Refinancing car loans will almost always make sense if you save money at the end of the payment cycle. Auto refinance can save you around 20% of the original loan you have in interest rates and other fees. Here are some situations where a refinance might make sense for you.

If you have a better credit score now compared to when you requested a car loan, a refinance should work for you. Improvements in credit scores mean you are now more trustworthy in the eyes of lenders.

Refinancing also makes sense if you can get lower interest rates, a shorter loan payment term, or both. When interest rates drop, it’s best to refinance your loan to get out of payments quicker. For those who increased their income, refinancing for shorter car title loans can reduce the amount of interest you have to pay.

If your income has lowered due to loss of a job or a reduced income, it’s also critical that you opt to refinance for lower car loan rates. In this case, you would likely want to stretch your loan for a longer loan repayment schedule. It will not save you money but it will ease the burden of payment for you.

Pros and Cons of Auto Refinancing

Refinanced car title loans have several advantages that make them an attractive option for those who want better financial flexibility. Depending on your goals, you can get a wide array of benefits like lower interest rates and lower total cost for your loan.

As we noted, the primary reason most people try to refinance is to get lower interest rates. In many loans, interest rates can be debilitating, especially once you need to start paying it off. Refinancing should save you good money, which can range somewhere between 5% to 20% of your total loan.

Opting for higher monthly payments will also result in a shorter term, which frees up your finances as soon as possible. On the other side, you can also make your payments more manageable if you’re having difficulty paying off your title loan.

Refinancing offers a level of stability. As car title loans have generally shorter payment periods with a sizable interest rate, refinancing can help convert your title loan to something easy to manage. Some even refinance from car title loans to personal loans, allowing them to get additional money and a fixed APR.

Even with all the benefits, not everyone should get their auto loan refinanced. There are a variety of drawbacks that you need to consider, especially on a case-to-case basis. Not all car title loans will have these issues but it’s best to ask for financial advice first.

For starters, some lenders will have extra fees and penalties, especially if you’re getting a personal loan to pay off your title loan. Extra fees can cut into the savings that you are trying to get. Extending a loan may even create higher interest rates over time and impact your credit score, as it counts as a new loan.

The Bottom Line

Refinancing your car loan requires research and sound financial understanding. Ask yourself why you want to refinance and what you’re trying to get out of it. Do you want lower payments? Shorter or longer payment terms? Lower interest rates?

Once you know what to do, find the right lender for you. Talk to a lender that you can trust, with easy-to-understand loan structures designed so you have easier payments.