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LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Can I Refinance My Car With the Same Lender?

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Content was accurate at the time of publication.

If you’re thinking about refinancing a car, using your current lender again probably seems like the obvious choice — but it’s not necessarily your best option.

Refinancing your car with the same lender will likely speed up the application process, since they’ll already have your information on file. However, some lenders don’t refinance their own loans, and those that do might not offer the best deals. Getting quotes from several lenders will allow you to choose the loan with the terms, rates and monthly payments that fit your needs and financial goals.

Whether you can refinance a car loan with the same lender will depend on your lender. Your bank may have mileage restrictions or require you to make a certain number of payments before you can refinance. Some lenders, like PenFed Credit Union, do not refinance their own auto loans.

The best way to learn whether you can refinance your car with your current lender is to check out their website or give them a call.

While your original auto lender may be able to offer the best terms on an auto loan refinance, you may find a better deal elsewhere. Before you shop around, read our tips for avoiding common car refinancing mistakes.

When you refinance a car, you exchange your current car loan for a new loan with different terms, rates and monthly payment amounts. Ideally, your new loan will benefit you financially by offering one or more of the following:

  1. A lower monthly payment, which will help if you can’t make your current payments
  2. Lower interest rates, which will allow you to pay less money over time
  3. Better terms, like a longer repayment period

We recommend following these steps to get the best rates when you refinance your car:

  1. Read the terms of your current loan to make sure you won’t need to pay a prepayment penalty when you exchange your existing loan for a new one.
  2. Shop around. Get a quote from your current lender and several additional lenders to ensure that you get the best rates and terms for your current financial situation.
  3. Compare quotes. Use an auto refinance calculator to determine which refinancing offer will help you save the most money over time.
  4. Submit your application for auto refinance. The steps you’ll take when you apply for a car refinance loan will be similar to the ones you took when you applied for your first auto loan. Once you’re approved, the new loan will replace your existing one, and you’ll start paying off the new loan according to the updated terms.

There are two good times to refinance a car: if you can get a better (lower-cost) loan, or if you need a more affordable monthly payment.

You want a better loan

If your goal is to pay less on your loan over time, refinancing may help. You’re most likely to get a lower rate or better terms if one or more of the following has happened since you took out your original loan:

  • Interest rates have dropped
  • Your credit improved
  • Your car gained equity (meaning the value of your car is greater than your loan balance)

You can’t afford the monthly payments

If your budget is tight, refinancing may give you some breathing room. It might allow you to decrease your monthly payments with a lower interest rate or by stretching out your loan repayment over a longer period. Just note that you’ll pay more interest over the life of the loan with a longer repayment period, increasing your total cost to borrow.

If you have dealer-backed financing, you might also get a more affordable loan by refinancing through a bank or credit union.

Refinancing a car can be worth it if you secure better terms that help you afford your current monthly payment or pay less on your loan over time.

You could find a lower rate

Each lender has a unique range of APRs based on several variables. Shopping around for a car refinance loan can help you discover the lowest rates available for your vehicle, your credit scores and your financial situation. You may even be able to use low-rate quotes to help you negotiate a better deal with your original lender.

You could qualify for better terms

Lower interest rates aren’t the only reason to refinance your car. Some lenders offer unique refinancing terms, including no down payment requirement, extra-long repayment periods or a 60- to 90-day grace period before your first payment is due.

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You can refinance your car loan as long as you meet your lender’s requirements. You’re more likely to qualify for refinancing if you have good credit and your car is less than 10 years old.

When you refinance, the new loan replaces your old loan. The refinance loan will pay off the original loan, and you’ll begin making payments on the new account.

Each application for an auto refinance loan can drop your credit scores by up to five points. But according to FICO, when you submit all of your applications within a rate-shopping window, it will only count as a single hit to your credit score. This window is either 14 or 45 days depending on whether a lender uses an older version of the FICO score or a newer version.

You can also minimize credit damage by applying with lenders that do a soft credit pull rather than a hard credit inquiry when you ask for a rate quote.

If you have bad credit, you may have limited opportunities to refinance your car. Not all lenders offer auto refinancing for bad credit, so your best bet is to check with your lender and consider shopping around. You may qualify for lower rates if you take the time to improve your credit score before applying for auto refinancing.