Paying Off a Car Loan Early

Tiny car with coins and finance paperwork

When you choose to finance your new or used car with an auto loan in Farmington Hills, you have a set monthly payment amount you must adhere to in order to pay it off in time. Have you ever wondered what would happen if you paid more than your monthly payment amount? Well, paying off a car loan early is a totally viable option for many Rochester Hills- area individuals.  In this guide from the finance team at Fred Lavery Porsche Company you can learn:

  • The answer to, “When is it good to pay off a car loan early?”
  • How to pay off a car loan early

Now, keep reading to determine whether you should start working toward paying off a car loan early, and explore some tips to help you get there!

When Is it Good to Pay Off a Car Loan Early?

To pay off a car loan early it takes good financial planning and a lot of diligence, but there are many rewards, such as:

  • lower interest paid overall
  • decreased chances of becoming upside down on your loan
  • a lower debt-to-income ratio
  • and you’ll be one step closer to financial freedom.

However, depending on your financial situation and the terms of your loan contract, the answer to “is it good to pay off a car loan early?” may vary a little for each Bloomfield Hills driver.

When Paying Off a Car Loan Early Makes Sense

  • You have little or no other debts to take care of and would like to get your car loan paid off so you can free up money for other expenses
  • You have enough extra funds saved up or enough wiggle room in your budget that making larger monthly car payments won’t affect your emergency funds and other finances
  • You are attempting to lower your monthly expenses to plan for a larger financial goal, such as entering retirement or growing your family
  • You’re looking to improve your debt-to-income ratio

When Paying Off a Car Loan Early Isn’t the Best Option

    • You don’t have much extra funds set aside for emergencies
    • If you have an exceptionally good interest rate, it may be smarter to just continue making on-time payments in the agreed upon monthly amount. The money you’d use to pay your loan off early could be better served if you set it aside in a retirement fund or for a future financial goal, such as a mortgage.
    • You’re using your on-time, set monthly payments to build your credit history or raise your credit score
    • Some car loan agreements include prepayment penalties. If this is the case, you would of course want to avoid those penalties by adhering to your regularly scheduled payment amount.

How to Pay Off a Car Loan Early

Our finance team has compiled some easy methods you can follow to help you pay off your car loan early. You don’t have to do them all, just use the ones that make the most sense for your situation:

  • Make Bi-Weekly Payments – Check with your lender first to ensure it’s okay to use this technique; divide your monthly car payment by two, then make that payment amount every two weeks. Using this method, you will effectively be making 13 full payments per year rather than 12.
  • Round Up Your Payment Each Month – Each time you make a monthly payment, round up the amount to the nearest $50.
  • Make One Extra Payment Each Year in One Lump Sum – If you’d rather not round up for each monthly payment using the above method, you can instead choose to make one large extra payment per year to achieve the same interest savings.
  • Resist the Temptation of Skipping a Payment – Believe it or not, some lenders allow you to skip one or even two car loan payments per year. This may be tempting if you’re in the midst of a rough month financially, but it will only lengthen your loan term and tack on more interest.
  • Refinance with a New Car Loan – Once you’ve made one or two years’ worth of on-time, in-full payments, you might be a good candidate for refinancing. Of course, you should only refinance if it’s securing you a lower interest rate. The lower interest rate will lower your monthly payment, making it easier to pay more than what’s required each month so you can pay off your loan early.

Fred Lavery Porsche Company Can Help Even More!

Feel you have a better idea of how to pay off a car loan early now, or do you still have questions? No worries, just contact us at our Birmingham dealership and we’ll be happy to help! Also, feel free to check our other car buying tips so that you can be even better prepared for your next vehicle purchase.


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