Looking to refinance my 2015 Jeep Renegade. I bought it in 2016, when I was young, dumb, and stubborn (yes, I've grown a lot the past 3 years...), so please try your hardest not to judge me for what I'm about to tell you...
Lender: Capital One
Orig Loan Amount: $22,169
Term: 73 Months
Interest: 20.66% APR
Today's Payoff Amount: $13,757.14
Monthly Payment: $544.17 (although I always pay more, whether it's $550 or $600)
Needless to say, I'll be paying on this for what feels like the rest of my life. My poor credit (and lack of intelligence) lead me to this. I have built my credit up to Fair now, but just barely. I have already tried to refinance with Capital One, but they will not refinance if you're already a current borrower (new only). When should I try to refinance, and who do you recommend? Also, my FICO is a 618 atm. Should I wait until I build it a little more, orrrr what??? TIA
Congrats to starting on your journey to make smarter financial decisions! Unless you have a concerted plan to increase your credit over the next ~3 months, and you really think it's going to be, say, 680+ in the near-term, you should be able to save a lot by refinancing now. Your positive history with this car loan should make your auto specific credit score better than when you bought the Jeep.
If you're already a member of a credit union, start there. Lots of people on this forum have had success with DCU. I also like RateGenius (https://www.rategenius.com/) because they aggregate rates from lots of different credit unions, although just know that they will do a hard pull of your credit to show you rates.
Credit union rates are on average 2 bps lower than for banks or finance companies. They might be able to get you a lower rate on your car loan.
IMO think about doing this in a few stages while you continue to improve your scores. Based on where you are now, do your homework and then look to refi when you find a lender where you have a good chance of success (call and speak with them and find out as much as you can). If you can go from 20.66 to 14ish, pay on that while your score continues to improve, then refi again. Go from 14ish to 9ish, rinse and repeat then go from 9ish to 5ish or maybe lower.
You don't need to wait very long between refi's as long as your score is improving and you consider impact of inquiries/apps. Not knowing your other DPs, like CC debt/utilization, DTI, etc, try to make that picture better based on your resources, this will ultimately get you where you want to go.