Category Archives: Buying & Selling

How to Refinance Your Car Loan & Save Money

If you’ve ever refinanced your home mortgage, you know that refinancing can come with plenty of headaches and paperwork. Such an experience may keep you from refinancing your car, too. Is it really worth it to refinance your car loan? In many cases, yes! Refinancing can lead to less stress and big monthly savings. Plus, it’s much easier and faster than you could ever imagine. We’ll walk you through how to refinance your car loan the simple way.

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5 Steps to Refinance Your Car Loan

1. Evaluate your current car loan situation

While there’s almost never a bad time to refinance your car loan, some moments can prove better than others. How do you know if it’s time to make your move? Look for these signs:

  • Interest rates have gone down since you originally bought your car
  • Your credit score has greatly improved
  • Your income has increased or decreased
  • You’re unhappy with your current car loan
  • You want to remove or add co-signers to the loan

If any of these reasons sound familiar to you, keep reading and follow our steps to refinance your car loan.

2. Gather your documents

Make the refinancing process go as quickly as possible by having the right information ready to go. Note that the first three pieces of following info can be found on the monthly statement from your lender. Before refinancing, make sure you know:

  • Your current monthly payment amount
  • The amount of time you have left to repay your loan (in months)
  • Your current interest rate
  • Your driver’s license number
  • Your car’s VIN number
  • Pay stubs from current employer
  • Your Social Security number

3. Apply to refinance your car loan!

Now for the fun part. (We say this because saving money is always fun!) You have a few options here. You can visit multiple websites and financial institutions, fill out multiple applications, and then separately evaluate each offer one by one.

OR, you can visit one website, fill out one application, and evaluate multiple offers side-by-side within a matter of minutes. The first option wastes valuable time. The second option gives you more time and more choice. Apply to refinance your car loan on myAutoloan and in a matter of minutes we’ll match you with up to four offers from trusted lenders. It’s one application, multiple loan offers.

4. Choose the best loan offer for you

When you refinance your car, a new loan is used to pay off your existing one. The refinanced loan is a new contract between you and the lender, with a potentially different interest rate, term, and monthly payment.

Choose the refinance loan offer with the interest rate, loan term, and monthly payment that works best for you and your current situation.

5. Wrap up the refinancing process with the lender.

Once you select the best refinance car loan offer for you, your lender may ask you to complete some additional paperwork. They may send it to you via overnight mail or make it available to you online.

The lender will complete the underwriting process on your behalf, contact your current lender (if different from your new one), and arrange a payoff of your old auto loan. Then you can consider your car refinanced!

But will refinancing save me money?

Yes, refinancing really can help you save money.

LauraKay, a myAutoloan customer, was able to save $100 a month on her car payment by refinancing her car loan. That’s thousands of dollars in savings over the course of her loan.

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“I was able to save almost $100 a month on my car payment,” says LauraKay. “Went from 16.75% due to my age and no credit history at the time to 3.10%.”

Renee was also able to drop her payments and her interest rate by refinancing.

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“I was able to get my car refinanced from 24% interest down to 10% and my payments dropped over $100. I am very pleased with my experience!”

Another myAutoloan customer was stuck in an unfortunate situation with an upside down car loan. Refinancing helped them lower their interest rate and monthly payments by almost 50%.

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“I couldn’t get a refinance on my upside down loan anywhere, I was paying a super high interest rate over 20%!!! MyAutoloan found me a financer who lowered my interest and monthly payments by almost half! The process is smooth and almost effortless in securing a refinance. I would recommend this site for anyone with a high interest car loan at least 1-2 years into the loan.”

Refinance your car loan today

What are you waiting for? Take charge of your old auto loan. Complete your refinance application online and get matched with up to four refinance offers in minutes. Don’t wait—interest rates could change tomorrow!

10 Telltale Signs It’s Time to Buy a New Car

You vowed to drive ol’ Bessy until her bumpers rusted and her wheels fell off, but after your last visit to the mechanic…you’re not so sure any more. When is it no longer economical to pay for auto repairs? When is it really time to buy a new car? Watch for these 10 signs and you’ll know!

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Consider buying a new car when…

1. Your safety is at risk. This is the most obvious sign it’s time to buy a new car. Anything can happen on the road. If your car isn’t properly equipped to handle it, you and your family are at risk. The problem could be with your airbags, seat belts, brakes, engine, or other essential part of the car. Wherever the problem stems from, it’s time to buy a new car if you fear your car will break down and leave you stranded at a moment’s notice.

2. Repair costs are getting out of hand. It’s usually cheaper to keep fixing up an old car rather than buy a new one–until it isn’t. Think about the math for a second. In most cases, it doesn’t make sense to spend $3,000 to repair a car with a Kelley Blue Book value of $2,000.

Consider how long your next pricy repair will extend the life of your vehicle. If it’ll add years to its lifespan, it might be a good investment. If you’ve been paying for the same repair every few months, be honest with yourself about the reliability of your ride. How much is the car really worth compared to the price of the repair?

3. The parts are expensive or difficult to find. Unless you’re restoring a classic or antique car, your car parts shouldn’t be too difficult to track down. If you find yourself relying on friends, rental cars, or public transportation for weeks at a time while waiting for the right part to arrive, the repair may not be worth your time or money. Time to buy a new car.

4. Your car doesn’t pass emissions. Some older model cars do not have the “drive clean” technologies they need to pass state smog and emissions requirements. This equipment comes standard on newer model vehicles, improving the tailpipe emissions and preventing harmful damage to the environment. Depending on the age of your vehicle and your state laws, you could be required to spend money on expensive technology to A) bring your emissions up to code so you can B) get your license plate and tags renewed!

5. Breakdowns are becoming a way of life. Car troubles should not cause you to consistently be late for work or miss out on important events with friends and family. If it’s not due to minor troubles (like a flat tire or dead battery), consistent breakdowns are a sure sign it’s time to buy a new car.

6. It doesn’t match your lifestyle. You’ve got three kids, two dogs, a schedule full of activities…and a 4-door sedan. Cramped? We thought so. There are plenty of lifestyle changes that could cause you to re-evaluate your current car. Perhaps you take a job across town and need a car with better MPG; your kids move out and you no longer need a spacious minivan; you start a career as a real estate agent and need a nicer vehicle to escort clients; or you’re welcoming a new family member and need room for a baby car seat!

7. You spend big at the pump. Are you at the gas station more than twice a week? Does the cashier know you by name? Older cars are typically less fuel efficient than newer ones. New car technology comes out every year, with each new car model becoming a little more fuel efficient than the last. If you drive a car from the 1990’s, chances are you’re spending a lot more at the pump than your neighbor who drives a car from the 2000’s. Upgrading to a newer vehicle (even if it’s used) could help lower your overall operating costs and save at the pump.

8. Your friends and family refuse to ride with you. This one might sound superficial, but hear us out. Do your loved ones always offer to drive or say, “Hey, we’ll meet you there!” If no one wants to ride shotgun with you, it might because the springs in your car seats poke through, the doors sound rickety, and you have a habit of showing up late due to “car problems.” Free rides are great. Dangerous rides? Not so great.

9. Your car makes you sad. American drivers spend an average of more than 17,600 minutes behind the wheel each year, according to a survey from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. That’s equivalent to seven, 40-hour work weeks at the office. If you’re spending 17,600 minutes every year in a car you can’t stand, it’s time to buy a new car. Your mental health and happiness will thank you!

10. You want one and you can afford it. With today’s resources, there’s almost always a way to get what you want, when you want it. myAutoloan is one of those resources. Calculate how much you could borrow with the myAutoloan loan amount calculator and apply for an auto loan online.

Nothing lasts forever, including your car. If all signs are pointing you in the direction of a new car, check out today’s new car loan rates and apply for a car loan today. myAutoloan will connect you with multiple auto loan offers in just minutes!

How to Skyrocket Your Car’s Resale Value

Selling your car is no easy task, but you don’t want to rush into the first offer you get. Follow these four easy steps to increase your car’s resale value. Then use your hard-earned cash to make a bigger down payment on your next car! Ready to drive?

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4 Simple Steps to Increase Your Car’s Value

1. Invest in easy repairs

Minor fixes can seriously increase the resale value of your car. Why? Because used car shoppers are looking for two things: a great deal and a reliable ride. A problem as small as a broken tail light could cause them to worry that there’s something much bigger going on, like an electrical issue. Don’t give them a reason to walk away. Give them peace of mind right out of the gate by taking care of minor fixes, like:

  • Illuminated dashboard lights
  • Cracked windshield
  • Broken windshield wipers
  • Low windshield wiper fluid
  • Low coolant
  • Broken interior/exterior light bulbs
  • Squeaky brakes
  • Overdue oil change
  • Small dents, dings and scratches
  • Flat or leaking tire
  • Noticeably weak car battery

“The value of a ‘mid-range’ car can be increased by $2,000 or more when selling it privately by just sprucing it up and making minor, easy repairs,” says Lauren Fix, an auto care expert for the Car Care Council.

Whatever you do, keep the receipts and records for any service performed. Being able to brag about new brake pads, tires, or windshield wipers can help you close the deal faster, and for more money.

2. Take care of open recalls

More than 47 million vehicles that people are driving, buying, or selling in the U.S. have at least one unfixed safety recall, reports CarFax. Your car could be one of them and you don’t even know it!

Taking care of open vehicle recalls is free and can set you apart from other people selling used cars, especially used car dealers. That’s because there are no federal laws banning dealers from selling used cars with safety recalls that have not been addressed.

Enter your VIN on SaferCar.gov to see if there are any open safety recalls for your vehicle. Recall repairs are free and covered by the car’s manufacturer at no charge, regardless of whether or not you bought the vehicle new. While it’s certainly not required to fix an open recall in order to sell a used car, it shows a potential buyer that you care and it may increase your car’s resale value more than you know.

3. Clean it inside and out

First impressions matter, especially when you’re trying to sell a used car. Don’t scare off a potential buyer with strange smells, fast food bags, or stained upholstery. A little cleaning can go a long way in increasing your car’s resale value! By how much?

“You could probably negotiate an extra $300 to $500 if it’s properly cleaned,” says Alec Gutierrez of Kelly Blue Book.

At a minimum, you’ll want to:

  • Wax on, wax off: Refresh a faded paint job with a good wax and polish.
  • Shine headlight covers: Many used cars have dingy plastic headlight covers. Make your headlight covers bright and shiny with a special headlight cleaning product.
  • Shine the wheels: Clean the dirt, dust, and grime out of your wheel rims. Apply a tire shine spray to the tire sidewalls to make your wheels look luxurious and new!
  • Wash the floor mats: If you can, shampoo the floor mats to get rid of any stains or smells. If you’re questioning their condition, you may be better off replacing them. A new 4-piece set on Amazon costs around $50.
  • Clean the interior: Vacuum every nook and cranny, clean the glass, and clean the fabric/leather. Pay special attention to the area around the driver’s seat, as this is where your potential buyer will get a feel for your ride!

4. Prep your paperwork

A long track record of regular services can seal the deal with a potential buyer and increase the overall value of your car.

If you don’t have one already, put together a folder of your car’s maintenance records. Can’t find them? Call your mechanic or the various auto repair shops you’ve visited. There’s a good chance they have your service records on file.

“Besides providing evidence, an orderly folder packed with repair and maintenance records shows you really cared about your car and that’s what a potential owner wants to know,” says CNN.

You can also print out a free vehicle history report on CarFax. Potential buyers will probably do the same, so why not save them a step? This report contains information about the vehicle’s registration, odometer readings, total loss accident history, recall information, vehicle usage, and whether there’s ever been any frame/structural damage.

Sell your used car!

Keep in mind that there’s only so much you can increase your car’s value. Some factors are out of your control, like the used car market in your city, the vehicle’s mileage, the time of year, etc. Run your make, model, and zip code through TrueCar to get an idea of how much similar cars are selling for in your area. Then get your ride ready to sell and start preparing to buy your new car! After all that hard work, you certainly deserve it. Apply through myAutoloan and compare up to four auto loans in minutes.

 

The Right Way to Handle an Upside Down Car Loan

Your car loan is “upside-down” when you owe more on your vehicle than it’s worth. This is also called being “underwater” or having negative equity. It’s an unfortunate situation to be in, but you’re not alone. Around 60% of people looking to trade-in their car face the same problem, says U.S. News & World Report.

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But, is trading in your car the right way to get out of an upside down car loan? The only way? We don’t think so. Check out our top tips for dealing with an upside down car loan and decide for yourself.

Am I upside down on my car loan?

First off, how do you know if you’re one of the many people with an upside down car loan and if so, by how much? Here’s how to tell:

  • Look up the trade-in value of your car. Kelley Blue Book is a great resource for this. Enter in your car’s make, model, mileage, and condition to see it’s trade-in value. For this example, let’s say your car’s trade-in value in $10,000.
  • Check the balance of your current car loan. Review your last loan statement or contact your lender. How much is the remaining balance of your car loan? If you have a $13,000 car loan remaining and the trade-in value of your car is $10,000, you’re upside down by $3,000.

How do you handle an upside down car loan?

You have a handful of options available to you, all with their own upsides and downsides. The right solution will depend on your situation and whether or not you want to keep driving your current vehicle.

Option 1: Keep your car until you have equity.

“Keep the car until you’re at a point where you have equity in the vehicle — where the loan balance has declined below the current market value of the vehicle,” recommends Greg McBride, chief financial analyst for Bankrate. “If you keep the car until the loan is paid off, there’s no risk you’re going to be upside down, because you don’t owe anything on the car.”

  • Upside: You could have equity to work with when you’re ready to buy a new car.
  • Downside: You can’t buy a new car right now. If your car has excessive wear and tear, your equity could be limited in the end.

Option 2: Sell your car to a private party.

If you don’t want to keep the car until your loan is paid down or paid off, you can try to sell it to a private party. Selling to a private party can often get you more money than if you traded it in at the dealership. Here’s the catch: you still have to come up with the funds to pay for the negative equity on your loan if you can’t convince the buyer to pay more than the car is worth. Very few buyers, if any, will be willing to do that.

  • Upside: You say “sayonara” to your car and car loan.
  • Downside: There’s no saying “sayonara” to your negative equity. You still have to come up with the cash to cover it. The amount will depend on how much you can make selling your car to a private party.

Option 3: Trade in your car and roll-over the current debt.

Let’s say you can’t wait another second to buy a new set of wheels. You can trade in your current car, drive off the lot in a new one, and roll your existing debt into a new car loan.

  • Upside: You get to drive a new car! Everyone loves that new car smell, right?!
  • Downside: Your old debt doesn’t disappear. It’s rolled into the purchase of the new car, leaving you even more upside down.

Option 4: Refinance your current car loan.

Review your current interest rate and loan term. If your car loan carries a high interest rate, it’ll take you longer to pay down the balance. That leaves you upside down, longer. If you can refinance the loan at a lower interest rate, you may be able to pay it off sooner and save more money in the long run. You could also look into refinancing with a shorter-term loan. Your monthly payments will be higher, but you’ll have your head above water sooner.

  • Upside: Refinancing your car loan can make paying it off more manageable and save you money in the long run.
  • Downside: Your monthly payments could increase depending on your circumstances and refinancing terms.

Apply to refinance through myAutoloan

You don’t have to keep gasping for air if you’re underwater on your car loan. There are a variety of roads you can take to alleviate the financial stress sooner, and myAutoloan can help with the right refinancing solution for you. You may be able to refinance your car loan for a shorter term or get a better interest rate so you can pay off your car loan faster. Explore your refinance options on myAutoloan to see how you can get out from under an upside down car loan today!

How To Shop For A Used Car

Consumers who want to avoid full coverage insurance and extremely high car payments may want to purchase a used car.  He or she may also want to apply for used car loans.  Buying a used car has many advantages.  However, as with all products, there is a right way and a wrong way to shop.  Buying a used car takes strategy and organizational skills.  One should follow the proper process to ensure that he or she does not receive a lemon vehicle or a bad finance deal. The following are tips on how to successfully search for a used car:

The most important step in the process of purchasing a used car is asking if the purchase is necessary.  After all, car payments on used car loans are new bills. Even if the consumer does not take a loan, buying a used car might not be necessary.  The old car might still have life in it.  The extra money might not be available or it just might not be the right time.  Therefore, the shopper should take the time out to figure whether he or she can get by without making this huge decision.  If the answer is that a used car is necessary, then the individual can continue with the process.

The second step in buying a used car is deciding what car is most beneficial. The person should think about whether he or she wants something stylish and sporty or practical and economical.  Maybe some vehicles fall in between the two categories.  The individual should then decide on a make and model.  It is important for a shopper to know exactly what he or she wants to avoid wasted time and money.  Knowing what he or she desires can speed up the process for a shopper significantly.

Next, the shopper should conduct research on the desired make and model.  The shopper should pay close attention to reliability and performance. The objective is for the shopper to get as many years out of the used vehicle as possible.  Therefore, he or she should select something that shows proof of reliability.

Consumer reviews can be the best of judge of a car’s overall performance. Consumers will often clue other consumers in on advantages and weaknesses of a particular vehicle.  They will also give the car a rating that can help other people decide whether it is their best choice.

After conducting thorough research online, the shopper can start looking for his or her dream vehicle.  Then the person can apply for used car loans.  He or she can stop by myAutoloan.com to apply for a car loan.  The website connects lenders with consumers who are looking for vehicles.  Visitors will receive offers for used car loans from lenders upon completion of online registration . The consumer can also use many of the other services on the site.  They can search for auto insurance and make use of the online payment calculators to help with figuring their monthly car payments.  Visitors can also gain access to their credit scores and find out interesting new ways to increase them.

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