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4 minutes read. published January 04, 2023.

Written by Allison Martin Written by

Allison Martin’s work began over 10 years ago as a digital media strategist. She’s been published in numerous prestigious financial media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, MSN Money, MoneyTalksNews , Investopedia, Experian and Credit.com.

Editor: Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor

Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate from late 2021. They are committed to helping readers feel confident to control their finances through providing concise, well-studied and well-informed facts that break down complex topics into manageable bites.

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You’ve refinanced your car a long time ago to get a or more affordable monthly installment however, you’re now curious to find out when you could refinance your car if you find a better rate. Or maybe you’re considering a refinance in the beginning and wondering whether you’ll have the chance to refinance again in the future. In either case, it might be a good financial move. You must understand the pros and cons and requirements to refinance before making any decisions. You might find other alternatives that don’t require refinancing are better. How many times can you refinance a car? If you’ve already refinanced, you’re eligible to repeat it. In reality, there’s no legal limit on the number of times you are able to refinance your loan if you can locate a lender willing to assist in the process. « Vehicle refinancing is only limited by the value and age that the car is worth, » claims Christina Naylor the chief operating officer of Carolina Trust Federal Credit Union. If you refinance several times, you could be more difficult to obtain an auto loan with competitive terms. Some lenders consider steeper because the risk of default is higher. « The issue is why do they continue refinancing? » Naylor says. « Are they using the equity or cash to pay down revolving debt and then immediately racking up the credit card balances again? That is a risk for the lender and it’s a bad approach for the creditor. » When can you refinance your car? There’s no legal requirement requiring a particular waiting period for refinancing. If a lender will be willing to refinance your loan within a short time after it’s been financed then you may be in good hands. But, it could not be a smart financial decision, particularly in the event that you’re looking to refinance when the depreciation rate will be at the highest in the life of your car. There are reasons not to make more than one loan Although it , there are instances where refinancing more than one time isn’t sensible. You may face a prepayment penalty. Your current lender may charge you fee for paying the loan off early. The fees are accumulating. Additionally, there are loan beginning and transfer costs which are typical for refinancing transactions. These costs can add up when refinancing multiple times, along with the extra interest you may pay if you decide to extend the loan term. It is possible that you have to pay more than the vehicle is worth. Another aspect to be considered when refinancing multiple times is how it affects depreciation. In general, refinancing more than once can cause you to owe more than the value of your car that is described as . This can be problematic if you wish to trade or after you’ve paid it off, or if your vehicle becomes non-functional. The damage to your credit score. Credit inquiries can remain on your credit report for up to 2 years, but only impact your score for a period of 12 months. If you make more than once in an extremely short time it could affect your credit score slightly . Refinancing conditions Lenders generally have requirements that you have to meet in order for refinancing your car such as: Age: Most lenders require that your car is not more than 10 years older. But if you are refinancing a second, third or even the fourth time, your vehicle’s age could be over the threshold which means it is not eligible for refinancing. Value: The car should not be worth less than the amount you have to pay on the loan. It is easy to go upside down on your auto loan if you have to refinance more than once and this can cause problems for certain lenders. Mileage Limits for vehicle mileage to 150,000 or 100,000 miles for refinances. If you’ve had the car for a long time, you may have accumulated far more miles than lenders will allow. How do I make sure I’m getting the best rate for refinancing my car loan? Refinancing your car can mean big savings, so it’s important to shop around to ensure that you’re getting most competitive rate. Your first step should be to take a look at the current car loan. Check the loan conditions, including the your interest rates and loan length. Also, look at your credit report to determine whether it’s better than what it was at the time you were applying for your current loan. It may be beneficial to consolidate your loan with an institution like a credit union or bank where you already are a member. This may improve your chances of being approved and you could be able get lower rates due to your relationship to the lender. You’ll also want to examine the rates and terms of different lenders, such as banks, as well as online lenders. If possible, before making a full application. This can help you better compare loan offers and may improve the likelihood of being approved. Once you’ve narrowed the options make use of an online tool to compare the loan options. Pay attention to the prepayment penalties and fees. Be sure that the savings are greater than any costs associated with the refinance. How to reduce the cost of your monthly payments If are considering refinancing but you find that refinancing isn’t the right choice, look at these options: Change your loan. Call your lender and ask with someone in the loss mitigation department to . Notify the representative of your financial situation and discuss options to make your loan more affordable and avoid repossession. Switch your vehicle to a cheaper option. Check out the available inventory at local dealerships and create a an inventory of cars with lower prices and monthly payments that don’t overstretch your budget. To narrow down your options, visit the dealership and agree on a deal that will get you a price and the vehicle you buy. Sell your car privately. You may get top dollar for your vehicle by doing it yourself. After the transaction is completed then use the money to finance a downpayment on a new or used car. Be aware that the current car shortage is real, and it might take some time to locate the right vehicle for you at a price that is attractive. Next steps Whether your credit score has improved since you took out your car loan or you’ve refinanced before and want higher loan terms and a less monthly payment, you can take another shot at refinancing. However, before moving forward make sure that the benefits outweigh the costs and research lenders to locate the best deals to maximize your dollars. In the event that you don’t, consider changing your existing loan to obtain the best deal, in the event that refinancing isn’t financially sense. You could also consider trading your car into or trade it in privately if refinancing isn’t your best decision for you. Find out more


Written by

Allison Martin’s career began more than 10 years ago as a digital media strategist. She’s been featured in numerous prestigious financial publications such as The Wall Street Journal, MSN Money, MoneyTalksNews , Investopedia, Experian and Credit.com.

Editor: Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor

Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate since late 2021. They are committed to helping readers gain confidence to take control of their finances by providing precise, well-studied data that breaks complex topics into manageable bites.

Auto loans editor

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