refinancing a car loan
car loan refinancing

Best Ways to Determine If Car Loan Refinancing Is Right For You

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Disclaimer: Upstart is not a financial advisor, the following content is for informational purposes only.


Do you ever get that nagging feeling that maybe you could be getting a better deal on your auto loan? Refinancing a car loan won’t help in every case, but for many people, it could make a world of difference.

The key is to know whether you’d benefit from a car refinance or not. People have a lot of good reasons to refinance. If any of these sound like you, chances are it could help:

1. Do you want a lower monthly car payment?

The average monthly car payment in 2021 for a used car is $430, according to Experian. That’s a lot of money to pay, especially if you’re having trouble making ends meet.

One of the benefits of refinancing is that you can often refinance your car loan for a longer term length. This spreads out your payments more over time, so each one is lower. Upstart-powered lenders offer car refinance loans from two to seven years.1

The downside is you’ll be paying for a longer amount of time, and you might end up paying more interest over the life of your loan as a result. But if you’re having trouble making your monthly payments, it can definitely help reduce the amount of financial stress in your life.

2. Do you want to pay less over the life of your loan?

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could keep as much money in your bank account as possible instead of sending it to a lender? That’s another major reason why people refinance a car loan — to reduce the amount of interest that they pay on their loan.

This can happen in two ways. You can refinance for a shorter term length and/or a lower interest rate. Either of these scenarios can result in you paying less interest over time. Of course, if you can do both, then you get even more savings. At Upstart, we use artificial intelligence to get you smarter rates.

3. Did your credit score or financial circumstances change?

If you’re like most people, your credit score will increase over time as you learn how to manage your credit and grow your credit history. Your finances might also improve if you progress through your career and earn raises.

These are all great times to refinance, especially if you were in a less-than-ideal situation when you took out your car loan in the first place. Even if you are working on building your credit score, it’s worth checking your car refinance options through Upstart because we consider more than just your credit score.

4. Do you want to remove a co-borrower or cosigner from your loan?

Cars are expensive, and you might have shared the car (and the loan) with another person, a co-borrower. Or, maybe your credit score wasn’t the greatest when you took the loan out, and you needed a cosigner on the loan.

If your circumstances have changed and you’d like to have the co-borrower or cosigner take off the loan, refinancing a car loan can be a great way to do it. Note that if you’re refinancing a car loan through Upstart to remove a co-borrower, we will need their permission.

Car refinance loans not available in IA, MD, NV, or WV. Car refinance loans in IL and MO are originated by Cross River Bank or Midwest BankCentre. Car refinance loans in CO, KS, and TX are originated by Cross River Bank or Rising Bank, Member FDIC. Car refinance loans in FL, GA, and AL are originated by Cross River Bank or Drummond Bank, Member FDIC. All other car refinance loans are originated by Cross River Bank, Member FDIC.
1 The full range of available rates varies by state. The average 5-year loan offered on Upstart will have an APR of 16.24% and 60 monthly payments of $492 per $29,497 borrowed. For example, the total cost of a $20,000 loan would be $28,940. APR is calculated based on 5-year rates offered in the last 1 month. There is no down payment and no prepayment penalty. Your APR will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will be approved.