Can I Refinance My Car With the Same Lender?
Posted by Frank Gogol
There are many reasons why you may be considering refinancing your auto loan. You could have a chance to score a lower interest rate. Or you might be having some cash flow constraints and need to reduce your monthly repayments by extending your loan term. Or you might just want to pay off your loan faster without being slammed with early payment penalties.
Whatever your reasons may be, refinancing your auto loan is a great idea. And if you are starting the process, you are probably wondering, “can I refinance my car with the same lender?”.
We’re here to answer your question. Just take a look below for more details.
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Can You Refinance with the Same Auto Lender?
Refinancing your car loan is merely replacing your existing loan with a new loan – which is hopefully on better terms than your existing one. So, it would make sense to wonder whether you can just take on the process with your current lender.
The good news is the answer to “can I refinance my car with the same lender?” is yes – you can. If you’ve kept up to date with all your required payments and you are in good standing with your lender, they will probably be thrilled to offer you a refinance loan. Your existing lender is a great place to start if you are looking at refinancing options.
However, just because you can refinance your car with the same lender doesn’t mean you should. Hopefully, your credit score has increased since you took out your original loan, which means you now have options and might get a better rate somewhere else.
Before you just choose to refinance with your existing lender, first consider whether it is actually easier to refinance with your existing lender? Also, explore whether you can get a better deal with a new lender. We provide some more guidelines on these fundamental questions below.
Is it Easier to Refinance with the Same Lender?
We’ve now established you aren’t required to stick to your original lender if you want to refinance your car. Now the question is, is it easier to just stay with the same lender?
It may seem easier to stay with your existing lender when you refinance. They already have all your information, paperwork will be minimum, and there will be fewer hoops to jump through all around. But the reality is any lender who is willing to offer you a refinancing loan will work with you to make the application process as easy and as quick as possible. There isn’t really any reason to be concerned that a new lender will make the process complicated.
So, don’t get stuck behind the thought that it will be most comfortable to stick with your existing lender. If you do, you might ignore the most critical part of refinancing – to shop around for the best possible rate.
Why You Should Shop Around for a Rate
The goal of refinancing is to get a better loan for your car than the one you currently have. Your new loan terms should meet your needs and the reasons you are looking at refinancing in the first place.
Suppose your credit score has improved over the last few years because you’ve been faithfully repaying your loan. In that case, you want to try and find the lowest possible new interest rate. Or suppose you want to extend your loan term to bring down your monthly repayment. In that case, you should do so without your new lender charging you a higher interest rate or additional fees.
When you apply for refinancing, you want to make sure you get the best deal out there.
This is why it is so important to shop around for different rates and offers from other lenders. It will probably be an option to refinance your auto loan with your existing lender. But your current lender might not be offering you the best deal for what you need. You will probably be missing us on great refinancing opportunities if you don’t shop around and get rates from different lenders before settling for a refinance loan.
In some cases, it may be your existing lender that offers you the most favorable loan terms and best interest rate. But in many cases, it will be a new lender that gives you the best deal. You won’t know for sure until you shop around. You should give yourself a fair chance and compare different refinancing deals and different rates from different lenders before you settle for one.
Once you start shopping around for different rates and deals, keep in mind you want to make a decision within 14 days. This period is to avoid multiple hard inquiries being done on your credit score, which will, in the long term, harm your credit score. When you go to different lenders to inquire about their offers, some will only require a soft credit inquiry to see what they can offer you. Others will have to do a hard credit inquiry. You want to keep an eye on how many hard inquiries are done and in what time period to prevent your credit score from dipping.
It will also be a good idea to research the different interest rates other consumers with your credit score range can get. Then you can go into your rate shopping and comparison exercise informed.
Finally, when you compare different lenders, don’t just compare the interest rate they offer you. You have to compare the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) the lender is offering you.
You can read more here on the difference between interest rates and APR.
Is There a Right Time to Refinance?
There aren’t any specific requirements around when you can or can’t refinance your auto loan. You can refinance at any time as long as you qualify. However, there might be a time when it is smarter to refinance.
The purpose of refinancing your auto loan is to get better terms and interest rates on your loan. You can only do this once you’ve improved your credit score from what it was when you took out your original loan. It takes some time to improve your credit score. So, it would be a good idea to give yourself some time to accomplish this before applying to refinance your auto loan.
Even though you now know the answer to “can I refinance my car with the same lender?” is yes, you hopefully also understand doing so might not be your best option. Take the time to do some rate shopping before you settle on a new lender and refinance a loan. You will definitely not regret the effort in the long run!