Dear Terry,

I recently purchased a 2007 Pontiac Convertible G6 for $29,700. My finance charge was 9.99 percent and my credit score is 711. Since then I’ve been told this rate is too high for my credit score. Is that true, and if so should I refinance and when?

Confused Consumer

Dear Confused,

Your FICO score is in the good range but a little below the national average of about 723. You don’t say how long your loan term is — 9.99 percent may be right for a 60-month loan with your score — but to get the very best rates you need to have a score of at least 750.

If you want to go shopping for a new loan, you can refinance at any time if there is no early payment clause in your loan.

One last thing to keep in mind: Even if you refinance 2 points below your current loan, the resulting drop in your payments of a couple of dollars a month may not be worth the hassle.

This week
Car sales down but prices up
Credit score too low to get best rate
Don’t sell car for trade-in value
Is interest on my car loan tax deductible?

If you have a question for Terry, e-mail him at

Driving for Dollars. Save money on your car — sign up for Bankrate’s new weekend

Car & Money newsletter.

Promoted Stories