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Better Credit, Same Lousy Car Loan Rate? Demand a Better Rate

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Dear Driving for Dollars,
Thanks to long-ago poor credit, I'm two years into a five-year car loan at 15 percent. I've never been late on a payment and my credit score has improved a lot, yet I can't get them to refinance me. Is there any way I can get a refi to a better rate?

-- SjB

Dear SjB,

First, start by confirming that your credit has indeed improved by reviewing your credit reports from all three agencies, and obtain your credit score from at least one of them.

While you are doing that, it would be wise to look for ways you can further improve your credit. 

Then call your current lender and ask about refinancing options. Shop around at other lenders, too. You are at a good point to do this because most refinanced car loans are for 36 or 48 months, so you wouldn't be substantially extending the life of your car loan. Even if you've done all of these steps already or if you get rejected this time, keep trying. The current trend with lenders is a loosening of credit, so if you can't get a good car refinancing deal right now, you may get one in a few months.

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If you have a car question, email it to us at Driving for Dollars. Read more Driving for Dollars columns and Bankrate auto stories.

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Bank Rates

Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
30 Y Fixed Graph 4.17% dw 4.18%  
15 Y Fixed Graph 3.19% -- 3.19%  
30 Y Fixed Jumbo Graph 4.35% -- 4.35%  
5/1 ARM Graph 3.25% up 3.16%  
5/1 Jumbo ARM Graph 3.61% up 3.45%  
Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
$30K HELOC Graph 4.41% dw 4.52%  
$50K HELOC Graph 4.06% dw 4.09%  
$30K Loan Graph 5.08% up 5.07%  
$50K Loan Graph 4.55% dw 4.56%  
$75K Loan Graph 4.55% dw 4.56%  
Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
36 M New Graph 3.06% -- 3.06%  
36 M Used Graph 3.29% -- 3.29%  
48 M New Graph 3.05% up 2.96%  
48 M Used Graph 2.96% -- 2.96%  
60 M New Graph 3.22% -- 3.22%  
Loan Type Graph Yield +/- Last Week
6 month Graph 0.37% up 0.36%  
1 yr Graph 0.60% -- 0.59%  
5 yr Graph 1.45% -- 1.45%