All results

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Paying Off a Car Loan Early: What You Need to Know

Does Paying Off a Car Loan Early Hurt Credit?

You’ve finally done it – you’ve managed to save up enough money to pay off your car loan early! Even though this probably feels like a huge load being taken off of your chest, you might still wonder if it’s good to pay off a car loan early? Keep on reading to find out what are some factors you must look at first.    

If you operate as most people do, you probably don’t think twice about making your car payment each month. But what happens when you pay off a car loan early?  

Well, first of all, if you decide to do so you could save quite a bit of money on interest charges. 

Just a few percentages you pay on your loan as an interest fee each month can add up and end up being a few thousand dollars over the life of the loan. 

The benefits of paying a car loan off early also include a potential improvement in your credit score. That’s because having a lower balance on your loans is one of the factors that are used to calculate your credit score. So, if you’re trying to boost your scores this can be the way to go!   

With that being said there are also some potential drawbacks to paying a car loan off early, but we will get into that later.  

Does Paying Off a Car Loan Early Hurt Credit?

Many people don’t even know- can they pay off a car loan early and often get surprised when they hear the answer is yes. If you are now about to pay a car loan off early, you may be wondering will it hurt your credit score? The answer is maybe – and it depends on a few factors.  

First, you need to look at your previous payment history on this loan and if it’s good and you decide to pay off the outstanding amount early, this could actually have a good impact on your credit score. 

On the other hand, if you’re already behind on your payments or you have a history of late payments, paying off your loan early could hurt your credit score even further. This is because it will look like you’re trying to avoid making your monthly payments at all costs.  

Either way, it’s important to schedule a meeting with a financial advisor or credit counselor before making any decisions about this topic. They can help you understand this process even further and make sure you’re making the best decision for your financial future.

How to Pay Off a Car Loan Early

In case the decision has already been made and you are sure that doing this is the right move for you, you can do it by making a lump sum payment of the amount you owe to the lender. Of course, if you don’t have that kind of money on hand, you can also opt for paying more each month so you will be done with it sooner.  

Pros and Cons of Paying Off a Car Loan Early

Paying off a car loan early may seem like a great idea, after all, who wouldn’t want to save money on interest and get out of debt sooner? However, there are still some benefits and drawbacks to consider before doing anything. Let’s look at them and determine whether is it worth paying off a car loan early.  


  • Save money on interest. The biggest benefit of paying off your car loan early is that you’ll save money on interest. The longer it takes for you to pay everything off the more interest will pile up, and this ends up being a significant amount of money over time.  
  • Reduce your monthly payments. While you may have to make some sacrifices in your monthly budget in order to come up with the extra cash to pay off your loan early, doing so can free up some much-needed cash flow once you reduce your payments.  
  • Improve your credit score. If you’ve ever been in debt, you know that the sooner you can pay it off, the better. So, let’s say you’ve been consistent with making your payments, then paying the remaining loan amount early can improve your score even further and make it easier for you to get a loan in the future. 

So, if you have a car loan and you’re able to make extra payments to pay it off, it can definitely be a good idea! Doing so will save you money on interest, and it will also mean that you’ll be debt-free sooner.  


  • Opportunity costs. By using money to pay off the loan on your car, you’re missing out on the chance to invest that money and earn a return on your investment.  
  • There may be some penalty fees. Some lenders charge a fee for paying off a loan early, so you should make sure that it’s worth doing so before making any extra payments.   
  • It can lower your credit score. As we said already, if you have a bad repayment history, deciding to pay the loan early and in full at once can damage your credit score even further.  
  • You could end up owing taxes on the amount of interest you save by paying off your car loan early.   

In some cases, the IRS considers the interest you save to be taxable income. So be sure to check with a tax advisor before making any decisions about this.  

Is Paying Off a Car Loan Early a Good Idea?

If you’re considering paying off your car loan early, you may be wondering if it’s a good idea. Well, the answer to this depends on a couple of things.  

Think about whether you’re going to pay more in interest and additional fees than you would if you paid off the loan over the full term. Not all lenders include additional fees, so you can generally save money if you decide not to wait for the term to end. 

Also, don’t forget to think about your future financial goals and what will make the most sense in order to achieve it. Paying any loan can help you reach your financial freedom, however, if it doesn’t fit into your overall plan, it may not be worth it.  

When Does Paying Off a Car Loan Early Make Sense?

Before making a decision on whether it is bad to pay off a car loan early, there are a few things to consider. The first thing is the amount of interest you’ll save by doing so. If you got stuck in a bad loan deal once you were taking it out and now are stuck with a high-interest rate, paying off your loan early will make a lot of financial sense.   

Another thing to think about is whether you have other debts that you could be paying down instead. If you don’t have any other high-interest debt like credit card debt, it can surely make sense to pay this one.   

Lastly, think about whether you’re comfortable with having less cash on hand. If this doesn’t seem like a problem to you, paying off your car loan early can be a great way to save money on interest and get debt-free faster but also have a lot more funds available in the future.  

Bottom Line

In case you do have some extra money and are able to pay off your car loan early, it can be a good idea to do so. You’ll not only save on interest and get a lower monthly payment you’ll also potentially improve your credit score significantly. While we can’t really tell you what to do with your loan, this option surely is one you should look into. In the end, the best option will depend on your financial situation and available funds.   

Nonetheless, make sure you understand all the terms of your loan agreement before you make any decisions or try even hiring a financial advisor in order to get professional help on this matter.  

From Strategy to Capital
We've Got You Covered!
Funded Trading Available to Elevate Your Game
Content navigation