When your finances get pinchy, refinancing your larger loans is a tempting idea. Should you, for instance, look at redoing your car loan? There are some reasons that it is a good approach.
Your own situation, lifestyle and other financial commitments should all be considered before you dive into a refinance, but here are some tips:
Car purchases in general have a lot of options. If, on second thought, you think you may have made the wrong choice, reconsider. Paying off the loan more quickly can save as much as $1,000 over the term of the loan. It makes it worth the initial stress of making slightly larger monthly payments.
If interest rates have dropped while you have been paying on the vehicle, refinancing is a good idea. If the deal originally called for a interest rate higher than 6 or 7 percent, you almost certainly will see a savings at a lower rate. Getting your financing through a financial institution rather than through the dealer may get you a better deal. Do a little comparative shopping and see where you can get the best interest.
If during the time you have been paying monthly installments your credit score has improved, you have a bargaining chip for better terms, especially if the car payments, in particular, have been regular and on time. If getting out of debt has been a target you have faithfully zeroed in on, you can reward yourself by looking at a car refinance that will lessen the pressure a bit.
If you have leased a vehicle and the lease is about to expire and you are debating whether to purchase the car or trade it in on something else, consider carefully. The car industry has reported a glut in leased car returns and you may be able to capitalize on that fact. Don’t jump into a new arrangement until you have done some research.
If, in the end, your objective is to have more free money, then a refinance extending the term of the loan, with smaller monthly payments, may be what you need. The negative, of course, is that you will be on the hook for a longer period of time, but freeing up more money will help take away the sting.