Find a dealer who will pay off my car loan

Or add the Edmunds or Kelley app to your smartphone and punch in the model, trim level, equipment packages and other options listed on the window sticker for any car on the lot.

How to Choose the Right Car Loan for You

The lender is in cahoots with the dealer. It collects the extra money, keeps half for itself and sends the other half back to the dealer. While this is quite legal, the U. Justice Department and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau have been investigating whether dealers and lenders are prone to discriminate against women and minorities by adding markups to their loans more often. Most dealers will make up for that loss by charging more for your new ride, offering less on your trade-in and imposing a finance charge markup.

Unscrupulous showrooms pay off your old loan, just as they promised, then secretly add that amount to your new loan.


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Some salespeople may steer you to leasing because it may get you a new vehicle at less than half the monthly payment it would cost to buy. Read our story about why leasing is a bad deal.


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The one exception would be around the end of the month when incentives provided by the car companies — rebates and discount loans — often expire. The salesperson is sympathetic. If you already bought the car, the best way out is to keep what you have and continue paying it off until you own it, or until the loan amount is lower than the value of the car. At least by then, you have equity in the vehicle and will not suffer a financial setback if you decide to sell it. Another tactic would be to use savings — money you might have been putting aside for a down payment on a future purchase — to pay off your loan.

6 Ways To Cut The Cost Of Your Car Loan

The downside of that idea is that you no longer have money left for a down payment and not many banks want to make loans to consumers who have no down payment. One more choice to escape from the negative equity position is to pay extra money each month toward the loan principal or, if you can afford higher monthly payments, find a loan with a shorter payment term. This allows you to pay off the loan quicker and build equity at a faster rate.

What To Do When You Can't Make Your Car Payments (James L. Paris)

Another option is to refinance the car with a new loan. If interest rates have dropped appreciably since you took out the original loan, the refinancing would allow you to pay off the car faster, or at least get some equity in it. Large bank lenders usually duck when this is proposed, but your community bank or credit union will at least consider the option.


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If you are a homeowner, a more realistic way to refinance would be to get a home-equity loan. That could provide substantial savings.

Auto Trade-ins and Negative Equity | FTC Información para consumidores

Private sales of cars produce significantly higher return than trade-ins. However, there still could be a difference in what you sell the car for and how much you owe on it, so be ready to make up the difference out of your own pocket. However, you also would be without a car.

Dealer Forgot to Pay Off Trade Topics

If you do have easy access to transit and want to sell your upside down auto, the steps are fairly simple. Consult Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds to get an accurate appraisal. Be sure to provide honest information about its condition, mileage and options, all of which affect the resale value. Next, call the bank that holds your car loan and ask what the payoff balance is.