Interest rates are still appealingly low, but more rate hikes are likely on the way.
The monthly Auto Refinance Rate Report is an analysis of anonymized completed auto refinance applications and funded (closed) loans in the RateGenius and AUTOPAY lender networks.
This Month’s Auto Refinance Highlights
● The current average interest rate ticked upward from 5.55% in March to 5.70% in April — but rates are lower than this time last year (6.42% in April 2021)
● Borrowers saved more money by refinancing in April ($83.82 per month) than they did in March ($78.76).
● Used car prices remain high, giving LTV ratios a boost. The Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index was up nearly 25% compared to a year ago.
Here is the Auto Refinance Rate Report for April 2022.
Current Average Interest Rate
Current Average Interest Rate Savings
Current Average Monthly Payment Savings
April 2022 Auto Refinance Rates
📝 The current average auto refinance interest rate is 5.70%. This is an average across all loan terms (36 to 72 months) and all credit profiles for loans approved in the RateGenius and AUTOPAY network over the last 30 days.
Relative to our last report, rate movements were somewhat of a mixed bag in April. Borrowers with shorter-term loans (36 and 48 months) and Fair credit actually experienced sizable rate declines (-0.43% and -0.24%, respectively). On the other hand, most borrowers with Good credit had notably higher rates in April — but they still compared favorably to the current national average.
Besides those with 36-month terms, borrowers with Excellent credit scores didn’t experience too much of a bump. The average rate variance was only 0.06% across all loan terms.
Should I refinance my car loan this month?
Even though the Federal Reserve elected to raise the fed funds rate last month, it’s still a good time to refinance your car loan — for a few reasons.
For starters, current rates aren’t too far above historic lows. Second, the Federal Reserve plans to raise rates another six times this year. The committee cited a stronger labor market as well as elevated inflation as the main catalysts for their outlook.
These rate hikes will eventually influence auto loans. The good news is that, unlike mortgage rates, auto loan rates take a little longer to adjust (and auto refinance rates lag behind auto loan rates). So, despite the Fed’s activity, drivers should have a broader window to lock in lower rates.
There’s also a factor working in borrowers’ favor at the moment: used car prices.
When your car’s fair market value rises, your loan-to-value ratio (LTV) improves, which may help you get approved for a refinance loan. This metric measures the value of a borrower’s loan against the value of their vehicle (the lower the ratio, the better).
Car (LTV) Loan-to-Value Calculator
A loan-to-value ratio over 100% means you owe more on your loan than your vehicle is worth. An LTV over 125% can make it harder, but not impossible, to qualify for a refinance loan.
If your LTV is less than 100%, your car's value is higher than what you owe on your loan. The lower your LTV, the better.
After hitting an all-time high in January, the Manheim Used Vehicle Index — which measures used car price trends — has retreated a bit. However, the index towers above where it was in March of 2021 (+24.8%).
To summarize the situation: rates should rise in the near future and your car may fetch a higher price than usual. So, it’s not a bad time to refinance.
March 2022 Auto Refinance Rates and Savings
📝 The average overall auto refinance interest rate in March was 5.97% across all customers approved for refinancing. The average interest rate reduction was 6.48%, payment savings were $99.28 per month, and auto loan balance was $26,005.
Borrowers with Excellent credit scores had a good month, as rates fell 0.18% relative to February. Unfortunately for everyone else, rates rose — particularly for those with Poor credit (+0.35%). That said, the average rate across all borrowers (5.97%) didn’t move much since the end of 2021 (5.95% in December).
After rising from January to February, average monthly savings fell across the board in March ($2.55 less per month). Those with Fair credit were on the wrong side of that average, as monthly savings were trimmed by $3.76 relative to February.
On the bright side, the average savings for all borrowers ($99.28) is nearly $10 more per month than it was in March 2021.
Overall, interest rate reductions improved from February to March — but they were still down relative to December. Borrowers with Good credit had the biggest jump (+0.28%).
RateGenius analyzed data from The Savings Group customer applications for auto loan refinancing made between December 1, 2021 and April 10, 2022. This dataset included thousands of anonymized completed auto loan refinance applications. We examined annual savings, changes in interest rates, auto loan debt, broken down by credit tier and/or loan term.
About The Author
Carter Kilmann is a personal finance writer and editor for hire, covering topics like credit cards, mortgages, budgeting, banking, and investing. He's written for The Points Guy, Investing.com, Thrive Global, Day to Day Finance, Money Mini Blog, and more.