Pay down loan before selling car

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Dear Terry,
I am currently two years into a five-year finance on my car. My car has started having mechanical and electrical problems, plus the high payments are killing me. I’m thinking about dumping it, but the problem is I’m about $2,000 upside down.

Should I:

A: Refinance my car and keep it until it’s paid down or paid off.

B: Get rid of it now and lease something.

C: Get rid of it and finance a less expensive vehicle.


Dear Laura,
The big question is whether you have $2,000 to bring down the loan so it equals the value of your car. That’s the best course of action — pay down the loan and sell the car to get a less-expensive vehicle.

If you can’t do that, refinancing may be your best option. You shouldn’t buy or lease a new vehicle and roll over the balance into that loan. That will just put you in a deeper financial hole.

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