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Car Loan Refinancing 101

Auto refinancing from every angle

Get the car loan refinancing answers you’re looking for so you can move toward your goals with confidence.

An auto refinance loan is a secured loan used to pay the existing balance on a current car loan. The car is used as collateral for the new refinanced loan. The refinanced car loan has a fixed interest rate and fixed monthly payments for a set period of time.

If you are approved to refinance your car loan, you may be able to:

  • Lower your interest rate. Vehicle refinance loans with lower APRs mean you pay less overall interest if the repayment term decreases or remains unchanged.
  • Reduce your monthly payments. If your refinanced loan has a lower APR or an extended new loan term*, you could lower your monthly payments.
  • Enjoy convenience and flexibility. You may be able to choose a different term and different payment options that better fit your needs.
  • Take a pause in your payment cycle. You may be able to take a month off from making a car payment when you refinance depending on your closing date.
  • Have peace of mind. You benefit from consistent monthly payments with a fixed rate, paying the same amount each month. Plus, you will not be penalized for paying your loan off early.

And, if you’re a Wells Fargo customer:

You may be eligible for a rate discount with a qualifying Wells Fargo consumer checking account while maintaining automatic payments.**

*Customers may refinance with a longer term which decreases their monthly payment, but may increase the total interest paid over the life of the new loan. In some cases customers may also benefit from a lower interest rate.

**To qualify for a customer relationship discount, you must maintain a qualifying Wells Fargo consumer checking account and make automatic payments from a Wells Fargo deposit account. Only one relationship discount may be applied per application. Auto loans obtained from a dealership (where the dealer is the lender) do not qualify for the relationship discount. To learn which accounts qualify for the discount, please consult a Wells Fargo banker. If automatic payments are not selected, or are canceled for any reason at any time after account opening, the interest rate and the corresponding monthly payment may increase.

Before you apply, you’ll need to gather the following information:

Personal and contact information

  • Date of birth
  • Social Security Number
  • Country of citizenship
  • Marital status (Wisconsin only)
  • Email address
  • Home address
  • Primary telephone number

  • Previous address (if at current address less than 3 years)
  • Residence status (own or rent)
  • Monthly mortgage or rent payment

Employment and income information

  • Employment status
  • Employer name
  • Occupation
  • Work phone number
  • Previous employment information (if at current employer less than 3 years)
  • Gross monthly income amount and income sources

Auto information

  • Year of vehicle, VIN number, and mileage
  • Remaining loan balance
  • Lender information

When applying for your auto loan refinance, you may want to consider a co-applicant, although it is not required. A co-applicant is an individual that enters into the refinance loan with you, and may maintain part ownership of the refinanced vehicle under that loan.

A co-applicant could help you get more out of your refinance: 

  • If you are establishing or building credit
  • If you have a lower credit score
  • If you think you may need additional income from another person to qualify

You will need to discuss the responsibilities and details of your refinance with your co-applicant so they can know what to expect. Co-applicants may refer to our application checklist, as well.

Should I refinance my auto loan?

An auto refinance loan may be right for you if you:

  • Feel like you’re paying too much for your current auto loan balance each month
  • Have a better credit score since first financing your vehicle
  • Want a secured loan and a potentially lower rate

If I have a lower credit score, can I still refinance my car loan?

Even if you have a lower credit score, you may still have options. Wells Fargo provides auto refinance options for customers with most types of credit.

Is it easy to apply for car loan refinancing?

Yes. It only takes a few minutes to apply and get a credit decision. A Wells Fargo Auto Finance Specialist will contact you shortly after applying, and if approved, you may receive your loan the next day. See our checklist to prepare for your application.

How does the auto refinance loan application process work?

Applying is simple and you may receive a credit decision in as little as 15 minutes.

  • Apply online
  • Discuss and select a loan option with a Wells Fargo Auto Finance Specialist
  • Complete and submit your loan documents

If approved, you’ll receive your loan quickly — often within a day — and will be able to access your account 24/7 with Wells Fargo Online®.

Ready to apply? Apply Now

Contact an Auto Loan Specialist today at 1-866-452-3413