Everything You Need to Know About Car Loan Consolidation

Car loan consolidation involves taking out a new loan to pay off two or more of your existing car loans.
Written by Claire Beaney
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Car loan consolidation involves taking out a new loan to pay off two or more of your existing
car loans
. You might choose to combine your debts to pay less monthly, lower your interest rate, or even improve your credit score.
There are countless ways to approach it and numerous places that offer car loan consolidation, so it’s important to do your research beforehand. Depending on your current situation, it might just be the best possible choice for you (and your wallet!)
If you’re considering taking this route, the
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How do I consolidate my loans?

Before you can start consolidating your loans, you need to gather all the information that you have on your current outstanding loans. There are sometimes penalties for paying off certain auto loans early, so be sure that doesn’t apply to you before continuing.
For every auto loan you have, you’ll want to confirm:
If you’ve taken out a loan, you know that most lenders will prefer if you have at least 6 months of employment. They also tend to look for a stable residency when assessing potential borrowers.
And if you’re looking for loan consolidation for multiple vehicles, ensure beforehand that all of them are covered by insurance. This process can be simplified by finding insurance that offers
multiple-vehicle discounts
—and can also secure you more savings!
Luckily, most banks and loan institutions will allow you to apply online. This can help make researching your specific loan policies and expectations easier, and simplify the application process itself.
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The pros of car loan consolidation

There are a number of factors that might sway you towards consolidating your auto loans.
By combining multiple car payments under one umbrella loan, it becomes far easier to keep track of your payment day(s).
Having more consistent payments can help to
improve your credit score
as well, which could qualify you for interest rates that you previously weren’t privy to.
And depending on who you choose to consolidate your loan with, there are other possible benefits:
  • If you consolidate your car with an auto lender, combining multiple auto loans may let you take cash out (known as cash-out refinancing)
  • If you consolidate your car with a
    home equity loan
    , you won’t have to worry about your car getting repossessed (since the collateral is on your house)
  • If you consolidate your car with a
    personal loan
    , it converts to unsecured debt, meaning you won’t lose your car if you default.

The cons of car loan consolidation

On the other hand, there are a number of negative consequences that may arise if you choose to consolidate your auto loans.
Lenders will charge interest fees based on differing factors, and if
your credit score has dropped
, they may offer you an APR that is the same price or more expensive than your current loans. 
And consolidating your loans may lead you to put off your payments, stretching a temporary debt into one that you’ll have to pay out over your lifetime.
Better interest rates aren’t guaranteed, so be sure to shop around a bit to find a loan that actually does end up saving you money.
Again, there are additional disadvantages that may arise depending on who you choose to consolidate your loans with:
  • If you consolidate your car with an auto lender, you can end up losing both cars
    if you default
  • If you consolidate your car with a home equity loan, your house may face foreclosure if you stop paying your loan.
  • If you consolidate your car with a personal loan, their repayment periods are often far shorter than auto loans.

Finding affordable car insurance

Whether or not you choose to consolidate your auto loans is entirely dependent on your current circumstances and financial situation. It can be frustrating and difficult to find guaranteed savings when searching for loan consolidation.
One way to ensure savings elsewhere is by using the car insurance comparison app
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If your credit has stayed the same or gone down since you first took out your loans, it can be difficult to consolidate your loans. Some lenders specialize in assisting people with bad credit, but they often have pretty high interest rates as well.
One way to improve your chances of getting loan consolidation is to get a co-signer to apply with you. This decreases your risk assessment and can help you get lower interest rates.
While consolidation combines multiple loans into a single one, refinancing means you replace a loan with a completely new one (ideally with lower interest rates).
If your main concern is making multiple monthly payments, then consolidating your auto loans might work best for you. But if you are more concerned with lower interest rates or APR and don’t want to shop for a new lender, then it might be worth considering refinancing.
Everything is, of course, dependent on your personal circumstances—so be sure to do your own research before making any decisions!
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