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Guess what I just did…..





Happy Friday, all!

Guess what I just did!!!


I just refinanced our auto loan for a MUCH better rate!! Eeeek!!!!!!

I was originally going to wait longer in hopes that my credit score would improve (I’d had a terrible debt-to-credit ratio so I thought my recent additional payments would help my score go up), but then I logged into Credit Karma and discovered that my score has already gone up a great deal and it turns out I have already attained an “A” rating in my debt-to-credit ratio! Wahoo!!

It feels like just yesterday I was barely dipping below the 50% debt-to-credit ratio, and now I’m below 20%!!

And – thanks, Reader (I can’t remember who – tell me in the comments!) for recommending PenFed! I went online, applied for an auto refinance and the whole process was absolutely easy and seamless. I thought it would be a long, drawn out thing and I was picturing myself having to go into an actual branch somewhere, wait around to talk to a banker, sign a billion documents, etc etc etc. But not so with PenFed! The entire thing was done online very quickly (maybe 15 minutes?) and at the end I walked away with a shiny new interest rate of 2.49% APR (compared to the 7.75% APR I have been paying to CarMax Auto Finance).

So my check went out in the mail today and should be here next week. At that point I’ll pay CarMax in full and have a new lien holder for the Explorer.

I’m kicking myself a little because my loan amount is the exact (to the penny) amount of my 10-day payoff at Carmax. I’m kind of wishing I’d applied for a bit extra to knock out some of my higher interest debts (although I know others “poo poo” this type of balance transfer). For better or worse its done now.

This also means my monthly payments are going to lower (by about $100!). As tempted as I am to keep paying the same amount, I’m going to put that extra money toward higher interest debt and try to get it gone! Only about $2200 between me and being credit card debt-free (of course, I have other debts….but the CCs are what prompted me to begin blogging here in the first place).

Very exciting stuff! Wahoo!!!


  • Reply TENN |

    Congratulations! Great job on the lower interest rate.

    I was in a similar situation when I graduated from college regarding the interest rates on my car and student loans. I ended up setting the car payment to autopay for the amount due and paying extra on my student loans.

  • Reply Mysti |


    Another “tool” for consolidating/refinancing high interest debt is Lending Club. It is a peer-to-peer lending site. The rate you pay is based off your credit rating (and to some degree the length of the loan). You apply and write a summary of your current situation and what you will use the money for. Then “investors” decide if they want to contribute, or may ask some questions. Once your loan is funded, they autodebit the monthly payment.

    We did this once, and 228 people invested in us! Took about a week. And we never once had a problem.

  • Reply Jeni |

    Yay Ashley! I am so glad you listened to me πŸ™‚

    I tell ALL of my friends about PenFed!!! No one can come close.

    Great job and so excited you have an extra $100 for higher interest rate repayment.

  • Reply the spunky banker. |

    That’s so awesome! I re-financed when I started workin at my bank and got a 3.50% , which was better than my 4.64% that I got at the dealership. We just started a new campaign with rates at 2.99% but since they currently carry my auto loan I can’t re-fi for the new rate which sucks!

  • Reply AS |

    Wow, well done! I had no idea you could get an auto loan that low – I thought 7.75% was competitive!

    On the $100/mo savings, is that due to the difference in interest, or did you extend the term of the loan as well?

    • Reply Ashley |

      Oh, that’s a good question I should’ve clarified, but I did not extend the length of the loan so the savings represents a savings in interest. Woo!!!!

  • Reply Shoeaholicnomore |

    In my area of the US auto loan rates are much much lower. Competitive rates here at 0.99-2.9%! These others rates seem crazy high to me…

    • Reply the spunky banker. |

      Hahaha! I think the 7% and up seem real high as well. Anyone in my area with a rate that high (and it’s rare to see) is probably 1. a sucker or 2. not good with their credit.

      • Reply Kristina |

        Carmax has high interest rates on their loans. When I bought my vehicle from them, I initially financed thru them (should’ve had a better plan!), and I got their best rate at 4.45%. I was able to refi for less fairly quickly, but the 7% is probably their second tier rate. I know they have higher ones.

      • Reply Meg |

        I bought a car in 2011 from a Ford dealership. My credit score was 820, 10K down, and I got just under 7% for the rest of the 4,000 or so that I borrowed. So my high credit score didn’t really do me any good.

  • Reply Mary from SC |

    Can’t wait to see you post those new numbers up soon! Way to go with the re-finance. Soon credit cards will be all a distant (and not pleasant) memory. Onward and upward…keep up the good work.

  • Reply Mary |

    Great job, Ashley! That’s a big savings. Can you believe how much you’ve paid off and saved in just a few months? Congrats!

  • Reply KK |

    Woohoo for low-interest car loans! I managed to snag mine at a promotional 1.39%. It’s fantastic to see so much of my monthly payment going to the principal and not the interest.
    I went through my local credit union and the car dealership was trying to persuade me to discuss financing with them to see if there was a “better deal.” I told them no, unless they could do 0%. They weren’t too keen on that πŸ˜‰

  • Reply Katie -DC |

    That is awesome!! You just saved $1200/year! Not sure how much time is left on your loan, but this is huge! Do the multiplication and see how much you saved for that 15 minute investment, and then pat yourself on the back. It’s important to do little things too, but I always encourage people to take on their big money drains (loans, insurance, utilities, etc). That’s where a few minutes of research or a phone call can really make a difference.

  • Reply Newbie |

    Congrats! Every little bit helps. I’m so impressed with the progress you’ve made…

  • Reply Slinky |

    Congrats! You are cruising with this debt payoff! I’m so impressed. πŸ™‚

So, what do you think ?