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Auto rates for April 18, 2013

 

I'm Greg McBride, senior financial analyst with Bankrate.com, and here is your weekly look at auto loan rates.

Auto loan rates crept lower this week. The benchmark five-year new-car loan rate slipped to 4.11 percent. On used cars, the average four-year loan rate settled at 4.51 percent. But those are just averages, and with the lowest rates remaining below 2.5 percent on both new- and used-car loans, there is no need to settle for average.

While longer-term auto loans -- such as six-year and seven-year loans -- are often available, that doesn't mean it is a good idea. Here's why: The minimal benefit of stretching out that loan term to reduce the monthly payment is more than offset by higher interest rates, slower principal repayment, and the likelihood of being upside down -- in other words, owing more than the car is worth -- for a longer period of time.

For more information on auto loans and to find the best car loan rates in your area, check out the free search engine at Bankrate.com.

I'm Greg McBride.

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