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Refinancing your auto loan could accelerate your savings

Posted November 9

With loan rates still at historical lows, now might be the time to refinance your auto loan.

This article was written for our sponsor, Coastal Federal Credit Union.

When you were considering that new car you bought not so long ago, you may have fallen in love with the body style, the handling, the color, the leather upholstery or just that new car smell.

Chances are that you were paying less attention to the loan rate you paid at time of purchase.

With loan rates still at historical lows, now might be the time to refinance your auto loan.

"Consumers may not realize how much they can save by refinancing," said David Jacobs, VP of Consumer Lending at Coastal Federal Credit Union. "Depending on the rate and the amount financed, it could be hundreds to thousands of dollars over the life of the loan."

Start By Checking the Rates.

The first step is to see what the current rates are for used car loans.

That's right, your once new car is now considered used, and used car rates are usually higher than those for new cars. However, it's definitely worth taking the time to look.

If your credit score has improved since you financed the car, it could possibly earn you a lower rate as well.

Refinancing doesn't make sense for everyone. If your car or truck is worth less than the loan balance -- this is referred to as being "upside down" in the industry -- you probably won't be able to refinance.

Also, if your vehicle is older than six or seven years, a refi probably won't work.

"To find the current value of your vehicle, look at various sites like NADA or CUDL AutoSmart," Jacobs explained. "You'll quickly get a pretty good idea of what you're looking at."

Let's say you just bought your vehicle. Do you have to wait a certain amount of time before you can refinance? No -- you're good to go whenever you're ready. In fact, the way a lot of loans are structured, the bulk of the interest is paid up front. So the earlier you refinance, the more money you could save.

Now That You're Saving Money, Put It To Good Use.

Congratulations on your successful refinance! Now would be a good time to put that monthly savings back to work for you.

You could build an emergency fund, save for a vacation or pay down other debts that you have. The important thing to remember is that you'll probably never see interest rates this low again, so if you've ever considered refinancing your auto loan, now is the time to do it.

This article was written for our sponsor, Coastal Federal Credit Union.

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  • Steve Smith Nov 30, 1:25 p.m.
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    Pay cash, auto loans are stupid.