What to do when your car is worth more than you owe?
If your car is worth more than you owe on it, then you have positive equity and can use that money toward the purchase of your new car. If you owe more than your car is worth, then you'll have to make up the difference with the dealer. It's also possible to trade in a leased car before your lease has come to an end.
You'll need to provide loan information so CarMax can pay off the lender. If you owe more than your offer, you will need to cover the difference. In some cases, the amount can be included in your financing or paid directly to CarMax.
This is called positive equity. For example, if the vehicle is worth $10,000, and you only owe $7,000, you would have a positive equity amount of $3,000 that can go toward purchasing a new car.
A trade-in is a quick and simple process to navigate. If you decide to do a trade-in, it's a good idea to do this when you have positive equity. If you have negative equity, you'll be on the hook for paying off that car's auto loan.
Sell the vehicle.
If your car is worth as much as or close to the balance on your account, selling it could enable you to pay off the loan without harming your credit.
You have negative equity when your car is worth less than what you owe. In this case, it's generally best to hold off on trading in or purchasing another car. However, if you're unable to make your car payments and want to avoid repossession, trading in your vehicle for a less expensive one can help.
CarMax earned 8.6 out of 10.0 stars in our in-depth review. The company also picked up our award for the industry's Top Value, as it frequently offered some of the best prices for used cars.
Yes, and our offer will be the same whether you're buying from us or not. Is the online offer a real offer or an estimate? We provide real offers, both online and in-store, and all of our offers are good for 7 days. If you have an online offer to redeem, bring it to any CarMax store.
In addition, CarMax has extended its 7-Day Money Back Guarantee to a 30-Day Money Back Guarantee. Now, customers have 30 days to decide if a vehicle is the right fit, allowing them to return the car for any reason for a full refund up to 1,500 miles. This offering is unmatched in the automotive industry.
A car loan becomes upside-down when you owe more on the loan than the vehicle is worth. For example, your loan would be considered upside-down if your car's value is $12,000 but your loan balance is $15,000. In this scenario, you have negative equity of $3,000.
Why you shouldn't pay off your car?
You may not want to pay off your car loan early if it's going to put you in a precarious financial situation. Depleting your savings account or making larger monthly payments than you can afford may help you pay off this particular debt faster, but it could make it difficult to cover surprise expenses later.
If you drive a new car for 8-10 years, you will have maximized its value while also minimized any safety risks that tend to appear due to age. I assume an average annual mileage of 12,000. Of course, if you don't drive much, you can easily extend your car ownership period.
- Refinance for a shorter loan term.
- Make extra payments toward the principal.
- Continue paying for the remaining loan term.
- Roll over the negative equity into a lease.
Consider Saving the Extra Funds
This is a great opportunity to save or invest, as you've already proven you can function without the extra cash. Of course, how you use this money will depend on your financial situation: You may have other debt you want to pay off or need to use the extra money for other necessities.
If the equity of your trade-in exceeds the price of the car your trading for, the dealer will cut you a check for the difference. It Still Runs notes that many dealerships will allow you to return the vehicle within a specified period.
If you have negative equity on the car (as in it's worth less than what you currently owe), the dealer may still buy the car and pay off the loan, but the difference will be rolled into your new car loan — meaning you'll still need to pay it off eventually.
Selling with negative equity
You will not only have to pay the lender all the proceeds from the sale, but then you'll have to pay more money to cover the negative equity amount. There are several options for selling the car and paying the loan debt in full when you're dealing with negative equity.
Trading in a car with negative equity can be beneficial if you can find a vehicle that is less expensive and fits into your budget. However, you need to be careful, as you could go into greater debt and more negative equity.