It’s not the zombie at your door that’s sending chills up your spine. It’s your auto loan payment. As dusk settles on your neighborhood, a shrill wail shatters the evening’s peace. Goosebumps rise along your arms as you hurry your way inside, closing and locking your door behind you.…
Low interest rates and a desire to cut expenses encouraged owners of these 10 vehicles to refinance.
Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc across the globe, but illness wasn’t its only impact. Economic instability led many to look for ways of saving money and lowering expenses.
The State of Auto Refinance: 2021 Report compiled by RateGenius found that 2020 wasn’t all doom and gloom. Americans took advantage of low interest rates to refinance their car loans, saving an average of $989.72 annually. Borrowers were also eager to refinance, doing so only 14.5 months after taking out their original auto loan — the shortest period ever.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, seven of the most refinanced vehicles in 2020 were top sellers. But before we dive into the list of the most refinanced vehicles, let’s discuss why and how so many borrowers sought auto loan refinances.
What Is Auto Loan Refinancing?
When you refinance your car loan, you replace your original loan with a new one — ideally one with a lower interest rate or better term. By refinancing, you stop paying the lender of your original loan and begin paying your new lender (who pays off your original loan in your stead).In 2020, the average interest rate reduction for every refinanced auto loan was 5.5%.
Refinancing is especially beneficial for those borrowers who have improved their credit score since taking out their initial loan, or those who unintentionally fell prey to predatory lending practices.
How To Qualify for Car Loan Refinancing
Qualifying for auto loan refinancing is similar to taking out your original loan. Begin by shopping around for a lender that meets your criteria and offers competitive rates and reasonable loan terms.
You may want to consider refinancing if you’ve improved your:
Finance companies also consider your:
- Remaining loan balance
- Vehicle age, use, mileage, and condition
- Loan-to-value (LTV) ratio
Refinancing your auto loan is also a good idea if lenders are offering lower interest rates than usual — which is exactly what happened in 2020 as a result of the Federal Reserve lowering its interest rate.
If you’ve played your cards right, your refinanced auto loan should have a lower interest rate and more favorable terms than the original.
What Type of Vehicle Did Borrowers Refinance Most?
Following that trend, the State of Auto Refinance Report demonstrates that 21% of all auto loans refinanced in 2020 were for pickup trucks, with America’s three most iconic trucks representing almost 10% of all refinanced loans.
However, pickups weren’t the most popular vehicle purchase. SUVs and crossovers dominated the market with 50% of new auto sales in 2020. SUVs also topped the chart for most refinances in 2020, as 35% of refinanced loans were for sport utility vehicles.
Sedans represented 22% of refinanced car loans, with hatchbacks representing 18%.
What Were the 10 Most Refinanced Vehicles in 2020?
Borrowers eager to slash their expenses or take advantage of ultra-low interest rates applied for refinancing across the U.S. Surprisingly, not a single vehicle with the worst credit score ranked among the top 10 of the most refinanced autos in 2020. Let’s look at which vehicles did.
10. Jeep Grand Cherokee
- Number sold in 2020: 209,786
- MSRP: $34,970 for the base 2021 model
- MPG: 19 City / 26 Highway
- Fun fact: Since its 1993 model hit the market, the Jeep Grand Cherokee has sold more than five million units in the U.S., outperforming total sales for the Cherokee, Wrangler, and CJ going back to 1983.
9. Nissan Rogue
- Number sold in 2020: 227,936
- MSRP: $26,050 for the base 2021 model
- MPG: 27 City / 35 Highway
- Fun fact: Nissan redesigned the Rogue for its 2021 release, six years after its last redesign in 2014. The 2021 Nissan Rogue may also be considered the launch of the vehicle’s third generation.
8. Toyota Camry
- Number sold in 2020: 294,398
- MSRP: $25,295 for the base 2022 model
- MPG: 28 City / 39 Highway
- Fun fact: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has awarded the Toyota Camry a five-star overall rating for ten consecutive model years, beginning in 2012.
7. GMC Sierra
- Number sold in 2020: 253,014
- MSRP: $30,100 for the base 2021 model
- MPG: 20 City / 23 Highway
- Fun fact: The 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 was a finalist for MotorTrend’s Truck of the Year.
6. Honda Accord
- Number sold in 2020: 199,458
- MSRP: $24,970 for the base 2021 model
- MPG: 30 City / 38 Highway
- Fun fact: The Honda Accord was the tenth most popular vehicle sold in 2020.
5. Honda Civic
- Number sold in 2020: 261,225
- MSRP: $21,700 for the base 2022 model
- MPG: 31 City / 40 Highway
- Fun fact: As of 2017, the Honda Civic Type-R was the fastest front-wheel drive car in the world.
4. Jeep Wrangler
- Number sold in 2020: 201,310
- MSRP: $29,070 for the base two-door 2021 model
- MPG: 22 City / 24 Highway
- Fun fact: The first Jeep Wrangler was introduced in 1997 and was designed to look similar to the Jeep CJ-7, first introduced in 1976 and made popular by the Dukes of Hazzard.
3. Ford F150
- Number sold in 2020: 787,372
- MSRP: $29,290 for the base 2021 model
- MPG: 20 City / 24 Highway
- Fun fact: The Ford F-series was the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. in 2020. The F-150 was the most refinanced vehicle in five states, including Florida and Washington.
2. Dodge Ram 1500
- Number sold in 2020: 563,676
- MSRP: $32,795 for the base 2021 model
- MPG: 20 City / 25 Highway
- Fun fact: The 2022 Dodge Ram 1500 is capable of towing up to 12,750 pounds, second only to the Ford F-150.
1. Chevrolet Silverado 1500
- Number sold in 2020: 593,057
- MSRP: $29,300 for the base 2021 model
- MPG: 23 City / 33 Highway
- Fun fact: The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 was the most common vehicle to refinance in 22 states.
The list of top 10 most refinanced vehicles in 2020 is based on fully-funded loans — those that progressed entirely through the refinance process from application to acceptance and funding. In addition, drivers of these two vehicles also applied for refinancing, though the number of fully-funded loans didn’t add up enough to score in the top 10.
1. Nissan Altima
- Number sold in 2020: 137,988
- MSRP: $24,550 for the base 2021 model
- MPG: 28 City / 39 Highway
- Fun fact: Except for the base “S” trim, the Nissan Altima offers an all-wheel drive option.
2. Toyota Corolla
- Number sold in 2020: 237,179
- MSRP: $20,075 for the base 2022 model
- MPG: 31 City / 40 Highway
- Fun fact: The Toyota Corolla became the world’s best-selling car in 1974, only eight years after it was first released — and only six after it was first released in the U.S.
Whatever Your Choice of Wheels, Consider Refinancing
In September 2021, the Federal Reserve announced it would keep interest rates near zero for the foreseeable future. Whether you’re driving the Flintmobile, one of the top 10 most refinanced cars in 2020, or anything in between, consider refinancing your auto loan to cut your expenses and keep more money in your pocket.