4 Times It’s Wise to Refinance Your Auto Loan - Genisys® Credit Union

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4 Times It’s Wise to Refinance Your Auto Loan

on 6/26/2024

Woman in car looking at camera

When people hear the term “refinance,” they often associate it with a long, tedious process. If you ever refinanced a home mortgage, you know that can be true due to the complexity of those loans. However, refinancing your car loan is quite simple and usually only takes a day or two to complete. 

The most common reason members refinance their vehicle loans is to save money. It’s a great way to reduce the total amount of interest you pay on your loan and free up extra cash each month. But there are other reasons why refinancing an auto loan could be in your best financial interest.

So, if you love your car but not your payment – buckle up and learn why refinancing might be a wise move to make.

What is Refinancing?

In short, refinancing is the process of replacing your current loan with a new one. Typically, you’ll refinance a loan to make it more favorable for you – either through more flexible terms or better pricing. There are two common ways to refinance:

Current Lender: You may be able to refinance your existing loan with your current lender. This type of refinancing is more common when you’re looking to change up the length or terms of the loan. It’s not uncommon for lenders to restrict in-house refinances since this usually benefits you more than it does the financial institution. 

New Lender: If you want to take advantage of lower interest rates or are unhappy with the initial terms of your loan, switching to a new lender is a common strategy. For example, if you originally financed your vehicle with a dealership, moving your loan to the credit union could help you take advantage of better interest rates.

When you refinance your loan, your existing loan will be paid off and closed. Then, a new loan will be created – either with your current institution or a new lender. 

Reasons to Refinance Your Auto Loan

Your car payment is likely one of your largest monthly expenses. Refinancing allows you to reduce this expense and keep more of your hard-earned dollars. Here are four examples where refinancing could be in your best interest.

1. Interest Rates Declined

If rates have dropped since you initially financed your car, you should definitely consider refinancing. There is no reason to pay more interest than necessary. 

2. Your Credit Score Increased

Lenders will typically use your credit score to determine how much you will pay for your loan: the better your score, the lower your interest rate. Financial institutions use this pricing strategy to help offset the risk they assume when lending money.

Assume your credit score was originally 655 when you financed your car loan and your interest rate was 5.99% APR. However, if you improved your score and it’s now 780, you would qualify for a lower rate – allowing you to save a significant amount of money each month and over the life of your loan.

3. You’re Facing a Financial Setback

Life is full of financial curveballs. From unexpected expenses to sudden job losses, a financial setback can come at any time. If you need to free up extra money in the short term, extending your loan’s term can help.

4. Your Loan is Underwater

Being underwater or upside down on your loan refers to when you owe more than the car is worth. This situation frequently happens when people finance cars directly with dealerships. Dealers are notorious for selling add-on products – everything from scratch protection to extended warranties. Many people don’t understand that these products are added to the loan. Coupled with the fact that vehicles depreciate quickly, the car buyer is left owing more than the car is worth.

To correct this situation, you might consider shortening your loan term. While this will increase your monthly payments, it will help you build equity in your vehicle and get your loan back on track. For example, you might shorten your loan term from 60 to 48 months.

We’re Here to Help!

Whether you’re looking to save money, recover from a financial setback, or correct issues with your loan, refinancing is a smart move. Switching your auto loan to the credit union is a quick and easy process – our team will do all the heavy lifting. 

To get started, please bring a copy of your current loan paperwork to any of our convenient branch locations or call 248-322-9800 extension 5. Our lending team will work with you one-on-one to find the best refinance option for your specific needs.


© Genisys Credit Union and www.genisyscu.org, 2024. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.  Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Genisys Credit Union and www.genisyscu.org with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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