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 Why refinancing a car loan with low rates makes sense
  What cars are eligible for car loan refinancing
By the EchoBay Loans Expert
 Why refinancing a car loan with low rates makes sense
Dear EchoBay Expert: The interest rate on my car loan seems low but the loan officer in my bank keeps telling me I should refinance my loan. Is there a reason why I should refinance my auto loan even though I feel I have a great rate?

Dear Loyal Reader: The loan officer at your local bank is right. If the saying "you can never have enough money" is true, then it's reasonable to assume that you can never save enough money either. Many consumers are surprised to find out that as little as a one-percent reduction in their interest rate can equate to hundreds of dollars in savings over the term of their loan.

For example, if you were to pay off a $10,000 loan over a 48-month period at a 9-percent interest rate, your monthly payment would be $249 and the total amount of payments over the term of your loan would be $11,952. That same loan at an 8-percent interest rate would equate to monthly payments of $244 and a total cost of $11,712.

While that may not seem like much of a savings on a month-to-month basis, it equates to a total savings of $240. Aside from savings, another factor to consider is that the low-interest loan from your dealer is probably 36 months or less, creating substantially high monthly payments.

Car loan refinancing over a longer term can lower your monthly payments, providing you with extra cash flow and adding flexibility to your budget.

 What cars are eligible for car loan refinancing
Dear EchoBay Expert: I'd like to apply for car loan refinancing but I don't think my car qualifies because it is 5 years old and has 130,000 miles. What cars will a lender qualify for refinancing?

Dear Loyal Reader: Even though your car is five years old and has 130,000 miles on it, if it's worth more than $5,000 it is likely that you may still be able to qualify for car loan refinancing as long as your loan amount falls within the lender's dollar limits and you meet their lending requirements (income, credit, etc).

You will generally need to owe at least $5,000 on your car in order for an auto loan refinance company to consider refinancing your existing auto loan, although in Arizona the minimum requirement is set at $10,000.01. Almost all non-commercial cars will qualify for an auto loan refinance. Exceptions to this rule are salvage vehicles, vehicles that have been rebuilt, motor homes, campers, conversion vans, fleet vehicles, taxis, limos, commercial trucks, or passenger cars that are used for business purposes.

As long as you don't fall into any of those categories, you should be in the clear. Even if you're leasing your car, you may be able to work with a lender that will refinance a lease buyout. The key is working with a lender whose car refinancing programs will meet your needs.

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