6 tips for getting a low rate and boosting your chances to save
Lowering the annual percentage rate (APR) on a car loan is one of the best ways to save on vehicle financing and the total cost of buying a car.
And it’s not complicated – there are simple ways to approach it.
Here are six tips for how to lower the APR on a car loan.
1. The credit question
Whether you want to save cash on financing for your existing car or are looking for a low interest rate and APR to buy your next vehicle, checking your credit position and building credit may help you get started.
You can review your credit history in credit reports, compiled by the three major credit-reporting agencies, for free once a year. It will enable you to check for errors and inaccuracies that might harm your credit score.
That’s important because a higher credit score usually makes it easier to qualify for a loan and may result in a better interest rate, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
There are no hard-and-fast rules to building credit, but the CFPB offers these tips: pay your bills on time, every time; don’t get close to your credit limit; a long credit history helps your score; and only apply for the credit you need.
2. Auto refinancing
This is a popular and straightforward way to potentially lower APR when you already have a car loan. Auto refinancing works by a new lender paying off an existing loan and replacing it with a new loan with new terms, like a reduced APR, and a longer or shorter loan duration, for example.
If you qualify for refinancing with an APR one percentage point below your existing rate, you could make a decent saving.
3. Adding an auto loan cosigner
When buying a vehicle, a creditworthy cosigner may strengthen your loan application, particularly if you have bad credit.* The CFPB states that, “a cosigner with good or excellent credit could significantly lower your interest rate.” A co-borrower enters in to the loan contract and is required to make any missed payments or pay back the loan if the borrower fails to do so.
4. Shop till you drop
Shopping around for an auto loan or refinancing lets you compare rates and terms, and may drop your APR. Consider searching for auto loans online and try direct-to-consumer lenders, like RoadLoans, offering a streamlined process with instant decisions.
5. Think about going short
Longer loan terms often have higher interest rates, according to Consumer Reports, so a shorter term may be another route to a lower APR on your car loan. Keep in mind a shorter loan might have a higher monthly payment than a lengthier one where the loan amount is spread over a greater period. But a shorter term means you’ll pay interest over a shorter period, which may also reduce what you’ll pay for the car in total.
Did you know APR and interest rate are two factors that are typically negotiable on an auto loan? Negotiating lower rates with a lender is another way for qualified applicants to potentially save money.
Whether you’re looking to reduce what you’re paying on your current car or want to get the best possible financing terms on your next one, knowing how to get a lower APR on a car loan gives you more control in the shopping process.
Save time and hassle – Applying is easy
RoadLoans accepts applications for car loans and auto refinancing from consumers with all types of credit and offers qualified applicants a fast and easy financing process. We don’t, however, accept applications to refinance loans from existing Santander Auto Finance and Chrysler Capital customers.
Apply for auto financing with RoadLoans to get an instant decision.
* “Bad” or “poor” credit generally is considered a FICO score around 600 and below by sources including the Consumer Federation of America and National Credit Reporting Association (reported by the Associated Press), Bankrate.com, Credit.com, Investopedia, NerdWallet.com and others. The Congressional Budget Office identifies a FICO score of 620 as the “cutoff” for prime loans. FICO scores are not the sole factor in lending decisions by RoadLoans.com and Santander Consumer USA.