Refinance, Trade in, Pay Extra


That’s the average price for a new car right now, according to Kelley Blue Book. That’s the second highest price on record — only matched by the average in December 2021.

Car payments are following the same trend, with the average monthly payment coming in at an all-time high of $730, according to Cox Automotive and Moody Analytics.

With the computer chip shortage continuing to affect production, car prices don’t appear to begin trending down anytime soon.

For most vehicle owners, that means making the most of what they already have. One way to do that is to lower your current car payment until the vehicle market is a little more budget friendly.

7 Ways to Lower Your Car Payment

1. Refinance

This is probably the most obvious option, but it makes sense if you’re looking to lower your car payment over a longer term.

While you’re at it, you might be able to get a lower interest rate as well. Interest rates have likely risen since you bought your car though. On the flip side, your credit score might have gone up too.

Checking on your refinancing options may be worthwhile. Keep in mind, though, that a longer term means more interest paid over the life of the auto loan.

2. Renegotiate Your Car Loan

Your lender may let you defer a payment or two if you need to get through a short-term hardship. However, if you need some help in the long-term, you can talk to your lender about restructuring the auto loan.

They might allow you to extend the term or lower your interest rate, which makes more sense if you have good credit.

Remember: Lengthening the term means you’ll be paying more interest in the long run.

3. Sell the Car

You might consider taking advantage of this hot vehicle market to sell your car and look for a cheaper option to get you around. Or maybe you could get by as a one-car household now that working remotely is more common.

By taking on a cheaper car, you can lower your car payment — or be payment-free — and…

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