1. DON’T: Assume your credit is great
Refinancing is a smart move if your credit score has greatly improved since you first applied for an auto loan. If you’ve been making your car payments on time since you first purchased your car, whether for a few months to a full year, your credit score may very well have gone up. Maybe it’s pushing 700, maybe not. There could be errors on your report that are damaging your credit score, but you won’t know unless you check.
Check your credit with the three major credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Report and resolve any errors before applying for refinancing to help make sure receive your best refi interest rate. Your new lender will run a credit check to determine the conditions of your refinance loan. Beat them to it!
2. DON’T: Go with your first refinancing loan offer
When you’re learning how to refinance a car loan, you might be tempted to think that all loan offers are created equal. Or, that you don’t have enough time to compare more than one auto refinancing offer. Well, you’d be wrong on both accounts.
Refinancing offers vary from lender to lender, company to company. Offers can even vary by day depending on events in the economy. If you take the first offer you apply for, you might not be getting the best loan terms or interest rate.
Do yourself a favor and compare multiple refinancing offers. You can visit multiple websites and financial institutions, fill out multiple applications, and then separately evaluate each offer one by one. OR, you can visit one website (like myAutoloan.com), fill out one application, and evaluate multiple offers side-by-side. Apply to refinance your car loan on myAutoloan and in a matter of minutes we’ll match you with up to four offers from trusted lenders. It’s one application, multiple loan offers.
3. DON’T: Refinance a car you can’t afford
Let’s say you bought a new car that was a stretch for your budget from the get-go. Maybe it’s a luxury coupe or convertible that lightens your mood, every time you hop behind the wheel. You’ve become attached to the car but not your monthly payments.
Refinancing a pricey car may look good on paper at first, but it could end up costing you more in the long run. Do the math. If you need to refinance to lower your overall car expenses, you might want to consider selling the car and buying a car that’s more affordable.
4. DON’T: Overextend the new loan terms
According to Investopedia, “Overextension describes a loan or extension of credit that is larger than what the borrower can repay comfortably.”
Refinancing your current auto loan should make you feel more comfortable, not less. Overextension can happen when you extend the loan terms beyond your means. You pay less, but for longer.
A 36-month loan refinanced to a 60-month loan will lower your monthly payments, but those lower monthly payments will come at a cost. The longer you finance a car, the more interest you’ll pay on it, and that’s on top of more financing charges over time. If you’re in a long loan now, refinance for a shorter term.
Longer loan terms come with more drawbacks than one. Downsides include:
- Negative equity (and an upside down car loan)
- Low vehicle resale value
- Getting tired of the car before your loan term ends
At myAutoloan, we’re here to help you avoid auto refinancing pitfalls by giving you the power of choice–all with no pressure. Compare up to four auto refinancing offers today and make your choice, at your own pace and on your own time.