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What Is a Finance Charge on a Car Loan? : All You Need to Know!

  • Auto Refinance
  • Natasha Young
  • 4 minutes

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When comparing used automobile financing options, you may have noticed that some providers demand a finance fee rather than a monthly interest rate. What is a finance charge on a car loan? Read to know more. 

finance charge on a car loan | Save up to $1850 a year on auto loan by refinancing via Way.com

What is a finance charge on a car loan? 

Finance charge refers to the interest rate added to the principal balance of a loan or the cost of extending an existing credit line. Finance costs can be either a fixed rate or a percentage of the loan balance, with the latter being the norm. The cost of carrying a debt, plus any transaction, account maintenance, or late fees assessed by the lender, is commonly referred to as a finance charge. 

How do you calculate a finance charge? 

Different situations may require a different use of the finance charge, but the definition is simple. It includes all fees and interest accrued as a result of borrowing money. A finance charge, by definition, is the total amount of interest, fees, taxes, and other costs paid over the life of the loan. Considerable expenses, such as documentation fees for the labor of originating a loan, are sometimes included in the overall APR rather than paid separately.  

To calculate your finance charges, take the principal (the total amount you borrowed) and subtract the total amount of interest, fees, taxes, and other charges. 

I.e., multiply the monthly payment by the number of months left on the loan. Then, take this amount away from the principal amount. Say you got a car loan with 48 payments of $680 each, but the total amount you owe is $40,000. Your finance charges will be $7,360. 

i.e., $40,00 – (48 * $680) = $7,360 

The above technique may not be the most accurate, but it does illustrate the difference between the amount borrowed and the amount owing to the bank, which is the financing charge. You should constantly check the fees section of your auto loan paperwork to see if additional charges will be beyond the regular installments. 

How to cut down finance charges on a car loan 

You might not know what to do with the information you’ve learned about car loan finance charges. That is normal. Don’t worry; we got you! Here are some ways to cut down finance charges on a car loan: 

  • Choose a loan with a shorter term. It can often get you a lower interest rate and less interest paid overall in the finance charge.
  • Negotiate with the lender. Asking if there is any way to get the lender to lower the interest rate or get rid of any extra fees can help. If you have a good credit score, try to bargain with it.
  • Find out everything about promotional rates. Decide if they are worth it compared to a traditional auto loan. 
  • Research before signing up for a loan. Shopping around and checking with at least a few different lenders can help you get the best interest rate. 

Is finance charge related to interest rates? 

The interest rate is one of the most common types of finance charges. This lets the lender make a profit, usually shown as a percentage of the amount already given to the borrower. Interest rates can differ depending on the loan type and how creditworthy the borrower is. Most of the time, secured financing, like a mortgage or car loan, has lower interest rates than unsecured financing, like a credit card. Most of the time, this is because a loan backed by an asset is less risky. All finance charges on credit cards are shown in the card’s base currency. This includes cards that can be used internationally and let the borrower purchase a different currency. 

Finance charges and personal loans 

When it comes to personal loans, a finance charge is a set amount of money you pay for the loan. Some lenders will charge you this amount whether you pay the loan off early or not. When you pay interest, on the other hand, you will pay less to borrow money if you pay it back quickly. It can be hard to say which is more expensive: a straight finance charge, a rate of interest, or a combination of both. Even with bad credit, you can buy a car from certain dealerships with reasonable interest rates and fees. 

finance charge on a car loan | Save up to $1850 a year on auto loan by refinancing via Way.com

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