Buying a car is not only one of the most necessary events in a person’s life, it is also one of the most pleasant. That said, after the first couple years of driving it, the car payment often starts seeming like a burden. Because most people purchase a car with 60- or even 72-month financing, reaching the third year of payments does not seem that much of a milestone, and the financially prudent person will definitely start problem solving the process of paying off that vehicular albatross.
In the same way many churchgoers offer a weekly 10 percent of their earnings to their church, you can pay an extra 10 percent of your outstanding loan amount toward your car payment. If you have a $500 loan, this would amount to approximately $50 extra per week, which makes a significant monthly increase of $200 to your principle. In fact, over a 52-week year, you pay an extra $2,600 per year to your car.
The true beauty of this process is to get started early because you could shave 1.5 years off a 60-month loan. When you hit the typical hump day of your 60-month loan, you will only have 1.5 years remaining.
2. Consolidate debt
If you carry a balance on different types of credit cards, you are likely paying a high annual percentage rate (APR). Traditional credit cards, for instance, often carry rates up to 14 percent, depending on the card and your credit rating. Big-box retailer credit cards often carry even higher APRs.
However, many banks will offer people with good credit a consolidation loan or a personal loan for people interested in debt consolidation. Doing so can save you several percentage points of interest payments each month.
Of course, you can consolidate your credit cards. In doing so, you will free up money that would have otherwise gone toward higher interest. However, depending on your credit, you can obtain a large enough loan to even include your auto loan. In doing so, you do not pay your car loan off early–you pay it off immediately.
Additionally, online lenders have a variety of options to help people with car loans pay off their debt early. For this to work, you should visit the site and review their qualifications to see what you need to do in order to be approved.
3. Gig it for six months
A part-time job in the evening can obviously help you earn extra income to pay off your car loan. However, you can also work in the comfort of your own home if you can find an online gig. The important thing to remember is that with an extra job or side gig, you should pay the money you earn directly to your car loan as this extra payment goes toward your principal. As you pay down your principal, the amount of interest you pay also decreases.
Rounding is a trick dieters use to lose weight. For instance, if they are counting calories, they will round 540 calories up to 600 calories. By recording 600 calories eaten while only having actually eaten 540 calories, they overestimate their calories and in doing so lose weight quicker because their actual caloric intake is lower.
Rounding is done in other industries, such as charities seeking donations at the cashier counter.
In terms of paying off your car loan, you can round up at the cash register and put that extra spending change toward your car loan. If you make rounding a habit on each and every purchase you ever make, this practice can be significant. For instance, in if you round up the actual grocery cost of 45.12 to $50.00, you can pocket the difference of $4.88 and apply it to your car bill. If you round up your utility bills, your Netflix subscription, and your monthly night out to restaurants, over the course of a month, you will likely have an extra $50 to $100 that can go toward your car.
Tipping is an extension of rounding and should be used to add money to your payments. Any time you earn extra money, you can tip yourself $10 to $20 bucks or so. A $20 tip is pretty good, and over time, several of these can add up to an entire car payment.
6. Plan your windfalls
Paying extra money you receive toward your car payment is an old trick to paying off your car. Using your tax return, for instance, can cut a few thousand dollars from your balance. However, instead of simply randomly using your windfalls to pay off your loan, you should actually plan them. To do this, you will need to keep track of your income and your projected taxes. Once you know what type of refund you will receive, you can then adjust your W4 to take out a little more each month. At the end of the tax year, you will be able to increase your refund, which you can then put toward your auto loan. Additionally, if you do this each year, you can significantly cut your loan balance.
The proverbial road to the poorhouse is paved with good intentions. Consequently, you should eliminate good intentions altogether by creating automatic deductions from your paycheck and having them go directly to your auto loan. If you cannot assign your deductions to your auto loan, you can assign them to a secondary bank account. If you also schedule your car loan to automatically deduct money from this secondary bank account, the process is automated enough that you never have to actually see the money.
8. Consolidate your efforts
As mentioned earlier, consolidation is one of the key strategies to paying off your car loan early. However, it is important to also consolidate your efforts by adopting several (or all) of the aforementioned strategies. For instance, rounding can help shave off five or six monthly payments from your 60-month loan. However, if you combine rounding with tithing, you can shave nearly a year off your overall loan. If you combine all these, it is realistic to expect being able to shave two to three years off a five- to six-year loan.