auto

How to remove a co-signer from a car loan

Tara Baukus MelloQuestionDear Driving for Dollars,
My husband and I have bad credit scores so we needed a co-signer to get a loan for our car. Now, the co-signer wants her name cleared but our lender says we can't refinance the car unless we put down $5,000 because of our credit. Is there another alternative?
-- Nadine

AnswerDear Nadine,
Generally speaking, the only way to get a co-signer removed from a car loan is to refinance the loan. That said, there are indications recently that lenders have begun loosening their credit requirements a bit, so while your credit score may have required you to find a co-signer or make a larger down payment in the past, it may not now.

Start by reaching out to other lenders to see if they'll refinance your auto loan on your credit alone. To see current rates and lenders, check out Bankrate.com's auto refinance tool. If they won't, you might see if a lender will agree to remove the co-signer after you've made a certain number of on-time payments but before you've paid off the loan.

Bankrate's content, including the guidance of its advice-and-expert columns and this Web site, is intended only to assist you with financial decisions. The content is broad in scope and does not consider your personal financial situation. Bankrate recommends that you seek the advice of advisers who are fully aware of your individual circumstances before making any final decisions or implementing any financial strategy. Please remember that your use of this Web site is governed by Bankrate's Terms of Use.

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

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