Get to know about paying the principal on a car loan with the help of this article.

It seems counterproductive to put additional money toward your car loan.

However, just like going to the gym first thing in the morning, you will be glad you did it once you see the results.

One of the easiest ways to get your finances in shape is to make extra payments toward the principal of your car loan.

Payments on a car loan consist of principal and interest. Interest rates and fees will be spelled out in the loan contract for your vehicle.

Read on to know about paying the principal on a car loan.

What is the Loan Principal?

Before we go down to paying the principal on a car loan, let us know what a loan principal is.

The “principal” of your loan is the funds used to purchase the vehicle.

Included in that total are the purchase price of the vehicle plus any applicable dealer fees and tax, title, and licensing (TTL) costs that you may have incurred through financing.

When financing a car, you can save on interest and principle by doing the following:

  • A larger initial investment
  • Advance payment of TTL charges
  • We are currently accepting trade-ins
  • profiting from rebates offered by retailers or producers,
  • Investing in a cheaper vehicle.

Your payment consists of more than just the principle. Part two is the APR, or annual percentage rate.

A percentage of the borrowed amount, plus any other costs associated with the loan, will be applied to this interest.

There will be principle and interest included in your monthly auto payment.

In the beginning of the loan period, more money will go toward interest than toward the actual loan balance.

The interest is reduced and the principal is paid down over time.

Over the final few installments, the principle will gradually increase while the interest decreases.

The total amount of principal and interest you’re expected to repay is detailed in the Truth in Lending section of your loan documentation.

Read also: 6 Easy Ways to Secure a Private Student Loan

Instructions for Making Payments Towards the Principal Only Payment

Find out the lender’s policy on principal-only payments before making any prepayments.

Extra principal payments may need to be made through a designated procedure or gateway with some lenders.

Naturally, you’ll want your account to be up to date. Your overdue account will be brought up to date with any additional payments made.

There are a few ways you can use extra cash to reduce the length of your auto loan:


Make a lump sum payment to settle the debt or a sizable amount of the balance.

It’s a smart move to pay off your loan early if you’ve received a bonus at work or come into some unexpected cash.

For the final payoff amount, please contact your lender.


Always pay at least the minimum required, but if you can afford more, every two weeks would be ideal.

Sum It Up:

Don’t be afraid to pay the most amount you can afford; just round up.

Consider increasing a payment of $365.82, for instance, to $400 or $450.

These modest overages will chip away at the principal balance.

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Additions to the Original Contract:

Pay more on your loan once a year, or at the very least once in the life of the loan.

Each and every one of these factors is important.

Confound the Timetable:

Calculate the monthly payment for a 60-month loan using the length of your current loan (e.g., 72 months).

If for whatever reason you find yourself short on cash one month and unable to make the larger than usual payment on your 84-month loan.

You will still be able to keep up with your payments by making the smaller than usual payment on your 72-month loan.

If you can manage your payments as if you had a 60-month loan, you’ll be able to eliminate your debt a full year earlier.

Consider the $644 required to repay a loan of $40,000 at 5% interest over a term of 72 months.

The same loan amortized over 60 months would have a payment of $755, but it would save you $1,091 in interest over the life of the loan.

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Refinancing vs. principle payment

In some cases, paying the principle on a vehicle loan can add up quickly, and a refinance may be a better option.

If any of these apply to you, refinancing your car loan could be the best choice:


Interest costs can be reduced by reducing the length of a loan.

Though you’ll be making a larger payment each month, you’ll end up spending less on interest.

You’ll get your automobile paid off quicker, too.

Obtaining a reduced rate of interest is possible.

You might be able to get a better interest rate on your car loan if your credit history has improved since you first got the loan.

You might refinance your existing 60-month loan into a 48-month loan at the reduced interest rate.

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Which tactic should you employ?

If your auto loan lender doesn’t allow you to make principal payments, you may need to shop around for a new one with more favorable terms if you want to pay it off early.

To determine whether or not refinancing your car will help you reach your financial objectives, use a refinance auto loan calculator.

If you want to know if there is a prepayment penalty, you should talk to your lender or look at the terms of your loan.

It might not be prudent to prepay the loan if that’s the case.

You may be able to avoid the cost of the prepayment penalty entirely by securing a car refinance loan with favorable conditions and an interest rate.

If your loan has simple interest and no prepayment penalties and your lender agrees to your early principal payments, it could make financial sense to stick with it and make those payments.

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