Lenders won’t refi upside-down auto loan

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I own a 2007 Jeep Wrangler, and I’m “upside down” in my loan. Currently, I owe about $28,000, and the vehicle is worth no more than $20,000. Is there a bank or lending institution anywhere that will let me refinance at a lower rate so I can get my monthly payments down?

Unfortunately, a lender won’t refinance your loan with another auto loan at a lower interest rate. You can call your lender and ask to extend the term of your loan, which will most likely lower your monthly payment, depending on the interest rate. You could also obtain another type of loan, such as a home equity loan, to pay off the current loan, assuming the new loan’s interest rate is lower or the term is longer, or both.

Keep in mind that if you extend the term, your monthly payment will be lower, but you’ll be spending more for the car in the long run. To see how much more, use Bankrate’s loan calculator to do the math on your current loan and the loans you are considering.

Read more Driving for Dollars columns.