There are many reasons why people consider paying off their car finance early. But whether you are eligible to do so depends on your personal circumstances, as well as the details of your car finance agreement.

You should expect to pay a settlement fee if you opt for early repayment of your car loan. As such, whether or not early repayment is worth it will vary from person to person, but you do need to think hard about whether you can afford to do so.

What is an ERC?

An ERC (early repayment charge, also known as a settlement figure or resettlement fee) is a penalty charge that you’ll likely have to make if you opt for early repayment of your car loan. This charge typically amounts to two months’ worth of interest, depending on your lender. Whether or not your car finance lender will charge you an ERC, depends on their policies and the type of car finance agreement you have.

Before you decide on an early repayment, it’s essential to know whether you may be liable to pay an ERC, so check with your finance provider first. Once you’ve asked them for this figure, you usually have around 28 days to decide if you want to proceed with the early repayment of your car loan.

How does car loan early repayment impact your credit score?

You may think that making an early repayment of your car loan would improve your credit score, but this isn’t necessarily the case.

If you pay off your car loan early, the account will show as closed within your credit report. It’s only open accounts that have an impact on your credit score, and other lenders sometimes like to see these accounts, so they can gauge how timely you are with repaying your debt. However, once your car finance account is closed, any benefit on your overall finance management won’t be evident on your credit report.

If you need your credit report to work in your favour – for example, if you’re applying for a mortgage or re-mortgaging – then you may be better off keeping your car finance open on your credit report.

Is it worth early repayment of a car loan?

Whether or not the early repayment of your car finance is worth it depends entirely on your situation and the terms of your agreement. You need to ask yourself whether you can truly afford the early repayment or settlement fees, and whether it might be beneficial to stay in the finance deal for the sake of your credit score.

Other factors to consider include whether you’re in negative equity. Essentially, if the settlement figure that you’ll have to make for early termination is higher than the value of the car, it’s probably worth waiting out your car finance term in full until you’re in positive equity.

Similarly, if you’re already close to the end of your finance term, it’s likely cheaper to stick to your current finance deal and finish all of your repayments, rather than face the settlement (ERC) fee.

Returning the vehicle

Another factor to consider if you’re on either HP or PCP finance is whether you want to return the car at the end of the finance term. Under the Consumer Credit Act of 1974, you can opt for ‘voluntary termination’ of the agreement, provided you’ve already paid half the cost of the car or will make up the difference between what you’ve paid and that number. However, if you do so, you won’t be able to return the car to the finance provider – you will be its legal owner.

This may be beneficial if the car’s value is higher than that of your remaining payments, as, once you’ve paid any settlement fee, you can then sell the car on and make a profit. But you may still be charged by your lender if you opt for voluntary termination. This amount is capped by law, but it’s still worth considering. Companies may also react badly to frequent voluntary terminations on your credit file, too.

Discuss your car finance needs today

If you want to get a car finance quote, discuss early repayment of your car loan, or have any further questions about the process, you can email My Car Credit on enquiries@mycarcredit.co.uk today.

Representative APR 8.9%

Evolution Funding Ltd T/A My Car Credit

My Credit Rating

Excellent

  • You are a home owner
  • You have been on the electoral role for a long period of time
  • You have current credit arrangements and mortgage with no defaults
  • You have no CCJs, credit arrears or missed payments
  • You rarely apply for credit
  • You are employed or self-employed

Good

  • You are on the electoral role
  • You are a home owner or long standing tenant
  • You have a stable employment history
  • You have current credit arrangements with occasional missed payments
  • You have no CCJs

Fair

  • You are or have recently been on the electoral role
  • You may have recently changed address
  • You may have occasional missed payments
  • You may have an old CCJ
  • You may have regularly applied for credit

Poor

  • You may have had frequent changes in address
  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • You may have exceeded credit card limits
  • You may have missed payments on current agreements
  • You may have had a CCJ in the past

Bad

  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • Your credit cards are over their limits
  • You have recent CCJs
  • You may have been refused credit elsewhere
  • You may be in a debt management plan
£

X monthly repayments of
£X

Typical rate

Loan amount

Total payable

X% APR*

£X

£X

*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score*

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 8.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 8.86%, 47 monthly payments of £184.94 followed by 1 payment of £194.94 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), a deposit of £0.00, total cost of credit is £1,387.12, total amount payable is £8,887.12.

Evolution Funding Limited, trading as My Car Credit, is a credit broker and not a lender.

Please ensure you can afford the repayments for the duration of the loan before entering into a credit agreement.

*Initial application is a soft search. Should you progress, some lenders may perform a hard search on your credit file.

Require more help?

Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!