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Car loans for the purchase of a car are a little different from car loans for the refinancing of an existing vehicle. With the purchase of a car, borrowers can get pre-approved for the loan before even picking out the car. With a refinance, however, borrowers are merely taking out a new loan to pay off the current car loan they already have. Borrowers will often refinance auto loans in an attempt to obtain a lower interest rate. Lenders generally charge higher interest rates on auto loans for refinancing than they do for new car loans.
A refinance is a good idea if you can save a substantial amount on the interest charges for the remainder of the loan. For example, if your credit was quite bad a couple of years ago when you first obtained the auto loan but you have steadily worked to improve your score, you may now be eligible for a better interest rate than the rate you currently have. If you still have a few years left on your current high-interest auto loan, it may be worth it to refinance. Just be sure that your current loan does not feature any sizeable prepayment penalties for early payoff.