Can I refinance my car loan?June 19, 2012: 5:05 AM ET
How do I go about refinancing my car loan at a rate lower than I pay now?
—Laura E., Bismarck, N.D.
First, check for obstacles. Does your loan have a prepayment penalty? Do you owe more than your car is worth? (Estimate its value at kbb.com; if your loan balance is bigger, prepare to pay the difference in cash when refinancing.) Then, for a sense of the rate you might obtain, get your credit score free at Credit.com and find the corresponding auto loan rates listed on myfico.com. Check to see whether any interest-rate savings might be canceled out
by a new and longer repayment schedule. Finally, start shopping for loans at your local bank or credit union, says Credit.com's Gerri Detweiler. They often have better rates than banks you find online.
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