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5 minutes read Read March 02, 2023

Written by Kellye Guinan Written by Personal and business finance contributor

Kellye Guinan is a freelance editor and writer with more than five years ‘ experience within personal financial matters. She’s also a full-time employee at the library in her town in which she assists the community gain access to information on financial literacy, as well as other subjects.

The edit was done by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor

Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate since the end of 2021. They are dedicated to helping readers gain the confidence to manage their finances with precise, well-researched and well-researched content that breaks down complicated topics into manageable bites.

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Trading and refinancing your car are two different processes — so neither is more or less than one or the other. The benefits and drawbacks depend on what you want to get out of your vehicle and your financial situation. Is refinancing or trading in your car better? Both refinancing or trading your vehicle can save money, but the best choice for you will be based on your goals. is the better choice for those who want to stay to your current vehicle however you want to alter the conditions of your loan. You could qualify for the lowest interest rate when your credit score has improved since you first borrowed the auto loan. This means a lower monthly payment and less paid in interest all-around. Utilizing your vehicle as a loan can help you pay for your down amount. If you want to buy another car, trading in — selling to a dealership could provide you with more cash to spend. It could also lead to better loan terms since you can borrow less on your next car. Refinancing instead of. trading in a car You can refinance your car loan either with the current or new lender. In the best-case scenario, the allows you to reduce the interest rate or get a longer loan duration. Both will lower your monthly payment and potentially help make your vehicle loan less expensive each month. However, refinancing to a is likely to cost you more interest. And while refinancing is an option to consider if you’re happy with your current vehicle The lenders typically have specific requirements that you have to meet in order to be eligible. Selling your car is a much simpler process. When you’ve researched the value of your vehicle You can then visit various dealerships to find out what they will offer you. The goal is to sell your car and then use the money to . If you’ve got any over, you can utilize it to make your down payment for your next car. In the end, it’s the best option for those who want to switch things up and you know you’ll obtain a bargain on an existing loan — and an old or new car. How refinancing your car works It’s basically identical to . It is better than selling your car if you enjoy the car you drive and want to lower your monthly payment. If your credit has improved, you have positive equity in your vehicle or you’d like to get a co-borrower then refinancing is the way to go. 1. Get your documents together. You should know how much you still owe for your car and your credit score. Lenders will also want to verify your financial records as well as more details about your vehicle, such as the model year, as well as current mileage. 2. Find out about rates and lenders. Check out and the common conditions of lenders. Apart from having excellent credit and solid financials, lenders typically require your car to be less than 10 years old and at least 100,000 miles on it. The majority of lenders have an minimum loan amount that you will need to meet to qualify. 3. Apply to many lenders. Like a car loan one should apply to banks, credit unions and online lenders. It allows you to examine rates without impacting your credit score, allowing you to select the best refinance option. 4. Check out how the loan is to be paid back. When you sign the loan documents, ensure that the lender either sends you the funds needed to pay off your loan or reimburses it for you. You’ll need to continue paying your loan until the current loan is paid off. What is the process for trading your vehicle works. Dealers prefer to offer trading on your car an element of purchasing a new car, however it’s an entirely separate procedure that should be handled on its own. It is possible to shop for your trade-in with multiple dealers, even if you decide not to buy a car with the dealer you select. 1. Learn about the value of your car. Resources like Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds provide average prices for a range of cars. Check to know you’re getting a fair price for your trade-in. 2. Check your loan. Every vehicle is worth less. However, if you are owed an amount, it may make it difficult to trade in. While you are still able to trade it in, you could need to pay the remaining of the loan in the event that the price is too low. 3. Prepare yourself to bargain . Like buying a car, you can negotiate the price of your trade-in. If your car is in good condition considering its age, and has an average mileage, you may be able to get more from the dealer. 4. Hand over the keys. Once you find an auto dealer to trade in your vehicle with, sign any documents and get the title transferred. After that, you’ll either need to pay off the car loan or use the money as part of your down payment for your next ride. How to lower your monthly payment There are several additional ways you can go about , although some of them could cost more in the long run. You can defer payments with most lenders. will allow you to defer your payments for as long as three months if you are experiencing an immediate financial crisis. However, you can’t defer the entire payment. Instead the lender tacks it on until the end of the loan term. Therefore, you will not only have to pay for the loan later, but you’ll be responsible for additional interest. It is however an option that is often used when you’re unable to make your monthly payment. But be aware that the deferrals are not permanent and will not reduce the overall cost of your loan. You could also be charged fees and penalties, which will be outlined in your forbearance agreement. In order to initiate a deferral, you’ll probably need to send a hardship letter in writing to the lender. The letter should explain why you must defer payments, and when you’ll take them back. The lender could then require documents that prove your request and helps to establish the financial hardship you’re facing. It is not always possible to get deferral. For instance, if your credit score is not great or your income has declined, you may not qualify. Apply for a loan modification instead of refinancing with a different lender Try . It may offer to prolong the loan duration — which could reduce your monthly paymentsor even alter your rate of interest. This being said the lender may not be willing to modify the terms of your loan. The responsibility for repaying your loan when you sign your contract consequently, your lender may choose to deny your request. You can try it however it won’t be as efficient as refinancing. Pay biweekly if you are struggling to make a big lump-sum monthly payment, you can try splitting it into two. You will make the same amount, but it will be more in line with your pay schedule. In addition the biweekly installments tend to reduce the amount of interest accruing for your loan. The best option is to cut back on other expenses so that two lower payments won’t put extra strain on your budget. The biweekly installments still add up to the same amount each month, so it’s not going to make sense for you if your current payments are too high. Next steps Ultimately, the choice to either refinance or sell your car is based on what you’d like to get from your vehicle. Refinancing is the better option if you want to continue to drive it but need different conditions for your loan. But if you want to make a change and get a new car then you could trade in your existing vehicle to supplement your down payment. In general, it’s recommended to put between 10-20 per cent down for a vehicle, and having a trade-in can help ease that burden. In any case, you should be sure to do your research and know the value of your car prior to looking for lenders or visiting an auto dealer.


Written by a Personal and Business finance contributor

Kellye Guinan is a freelance editor and writer with more than five years of experience in personal financial matters. She is also a full-time employee at the library in her town where she helps her community access information about financial literacy, in addition to other topics.

Edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor

Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate since late 2021. They are committed to helping readers gain confidence to take control of their finances by providing precise, well-studied data that breaks otherwise complex topics into manageable bites.

Auto loans editor

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