How to Refinance a PCP Balloon Payment

car bought on pcp finance with balloons in back

There’s no doubt that COVID-19 has affected all of our lives. For many of us, finances are tighter, and we must watch the pennies, now more than ever. As a motorist, you may be coming to the end of a PCP deal and cannot afford to buy a new car in the current climate. You also don’t want to lose out on a car you’ve been waiting years to finally purchase outright. Perhaps you have also grown attached to the vehicle and don’t want to hand the keys over at the end of the PCP agreement.

If this is the case, consider your PCP finance balloon payment. My Car Credit can help you with refinancing your balloon payment, leaving you free to keep driving your car with a new agreement in place.

 What is a PCP?

A PCP (Personal Contract Purchase) is a very common way of purchasing a new or nearly new car. Unlike a traditional personal loan or HP (Hire Purchase) agreement, you won’t be paying off the full value of the vehicle, and you won’t own the car at the end of the finance agreement – unless you choose to.

At the end of the term, you can either pay a final lump sum balloon payment to keep the car, hand the car back and walk away, or get a new car with a brand new agreement.

What is a PCP balloon payment?

A PCP finance balloon payment is the final lump sum needed to take ownership of a car at the end of an agreement. Most car finance paperwork refers to this as the optional final payment. When you first take out the loan, the vehicle costs are split across an initial deposit, a series of monthly payments and then this optional final payment if you choose to buy the car.

The balloon payment is fixed at the beginning of the contract, so you should be aware of the cost of buying the vehicle before you get to the end of the deal. The balloon payment is an estimate of the vehicle’s value at the end of the finance agreement, and it offers protection against an unexpected decline in your car’s value. It is also known as your car’s guaranteed minimum future value.

Should you refinance a balloon payment?

The current COVID-19 pandemic may have influenced your decision on whether to keep or buy your vehicle. Perhaps you’re a key worker and need a vehicle to rely on every day. Or maybe you’ve lost work and are looking for smart ways to save more money.

It is worth bearing in mind that due to the current difficulties in changing vehicles, some lenders are offering an extension to your current agreement.

However, if you want to keep the car, you would need to make the balloon payment. This is possible by paying the lender in cash or by refinancing the payment, which usually takes the form of a Hire Purchase agreement and will leave you as the car’s owner at the end.

Before making a final decision on whether to hand your car back or refinance the balloon payment, it’s important to consider your car’s current value with how much you’d have to pay – or refinance – to keep it. A good rule of thumb is if the car is worth less than the balloon payment, you may want to give it back and purchase a similar used model for less.

However, if the vehicle is worth more than the balloon payment listed on your agreement, you are better off paying – or financing – this amount to own the car for less than what a similar model would have cost you.

How do I refinance a PCP balloon payment?

If you want to keep the vehicle but cannot afford to pay the full optional final payment in cash, talk to My Car Credit about balloon refinancing. We have a number of lenders on our panel who offer balloon finance, so long as it is the right option for your circumstances.

Balloon payment finance is a Hire Purchase agreement. You can finance cars up to 10 years old or 100,000 miles at the start of the contract. Keep in mind that this will mean that you won’t own the car outright until you’ve made the final payment. However, if you refinance, you can settle your agreement at any point during the agreement.

There’s no doubt, this is an accessible and affordable way to spread the cost of car ownership. Best of all, at the end of the term, often between 24 and 60 months, the car becomes yours!

Another option for refinancing is opting for a bank loan. If you have a good credit score, you may be able to take advantage of low-interest rates. However, be aware that a personal loan does not have the same consumer protection rights as a hire purchase agreement. You may find you’re able to get a better deal with car finance, so it’s worth getting Hire Purchase quotes, too. My Car Credit offers rates from as low as 6.9% APR and will give you an instant online decision along with your expected rate of interest.

Get started today

Have you been thinking about purchasing your car at the end of your PCP agreement for a while? If you’ve been waiting years to finally own the car, don’t miss out! You don’t have to wait until the end of your PCP agreement before talking to your lender about refinancing. You may even be able to reduce your monthly payments by refinancing early.

• Start by applying for finance. Our dedicated car credit advisors will work with you according to your chosen financial plan and goals. We’re always on hand to help and are happy to guide you through the process.

• Calculate your budget. Get an idea of how much you can afford to spend.

• Let the team at My Car Credit handle the rest. We can help you land the right refinancing option that suits your needs and budget.

Find a financial plan to suit you

At My Car Credit, we understand that it’s a troubling time for everyone. That’s why our dedicated agents work to secure the right plan to suit your needs, vehicle and budget. To get expert advice and guidance, call us on 01246 458 810 or email us at enquiries@mycarcredit.co.uk. We look forward to hearing from you.

Rates from 6.9% APR. Representative APR 13.9%

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 13.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 13.85%, 47 monthly payments of £201.38 followed by 1 payment of £211.38 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), a deposit of £0.00, total cost of credit is £2,176.24, total amount payable is £9,676.24.

My Car Credit is a credit broker and not a lender.

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!

Settling Car Finance Early: What Is My Car Finance Settlement Figure?

man using mobile to find out his car finance settlement figure

When you take out car finance, it’s important that you understand how your agreement works. One part of this is your settlement figure. Everyone gets excited when they pick up their new car. Whilst we don’t want to be party poopers, if you have taken out car finance, it’s important you understand how to end the agreement when the time is right for you.

How can I obtain my settlement figure?

Obtaining a settlement figure means asking your lender how much is left to pay on your finance agreement.

You might be thinking of changing your car, or you may have decided to pay off your finance balance early. Either way, you will need to contact your lender using the details on your finance documentation.

Your lender can provide you with your settlement figure over the phone, via email (which can take 2-3 days) or by post (which could take 7 or so days). Your settlement figure is valid for 14 days from the date you request it. Once you have paid your remaining balance, the finance company will confirm in writing, and it is important that you keep this letter in a safe place.

What your settlement figure means

Most of the time, your settlement figure will be less than the value of your car. The difference between your car’s market value and the settlement figure can be used as a deposit towards a new car, or as cashback.

When the value of your car is less than the settlement figure, the difference in values is known as negative equity. This often occurs where people change their car early into their finance agreement and have only paid a small deposit.

If you do have negative equity, you can opt to pay it off. Alternatively, some lenders will accept a small amount of negative equity on a new finance agreement.

If you have any questions about obtaining your settlement figure, our car credit specialists are here to help!

Rates from 6.9% APR. Representative APR 13.9%

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 13.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 13.85%, 47 monthly payments of £201.38 followed by 1 payment of £211.38 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), a deposit of £0.00, total cost of credit is £2,176.24, total amount payable is £9,676.24.

My Car Credit is a credit broker and not a lender.

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!

Voluntary termination for car finance explained

Car at night handed back on voluntary termination

For a number of reasons, people have to cancel their car finance agreements early – this is known as a voluntary termination. Whilst it is your legal right, the process can be complicated to understand – especially when it hasn’t been explained properly. We’re going to break everything down, so you can understand what you’ll need to do in this situation.

What is voluntary termination?

Voluntary termination is your legal right to cancel a car finance agreement earlier than the proposed terms. It works by setting the minimum repayment amount to 50% of the original agreement.

Voluntary termination can be applied to both new and used cars financed on Personal Contact Purchase (PCP) and Hire Purchase (HP) agreements. Although, the process is slightly different depending on the type of car finance you have.

Before you get voluntary termination

In all honesty, the first thing you need to do with voluntary termination is prepare yourself. It can often be quite a consuming process and a fair percentage of lenders will make you do the bulk of the hard work to make it happen. They can continue to charge you until you have completed the process, so it’s best to act as quickly as possible.

If you can, it is also best to stop driving your car as soon as you know that you are going to get voluntary termination. Any damages to the vehicle (normally defined as ‘wear and tear’ and ‘reasonable care’) will be charged to you on top of your other repayments. This can include anything from marks on the bodywork and the interior to claims of excess mileage (usage).

How does voluntary termination work for PCP?

In order to cancel your PCP agreement early, you will need to have repaid at least 50% of the agreed amount. With PCP, this part can be a bit more complicated than other finance options, as normally it will not occur halfway through your repayment scheme. This is because of the balloon payment.

The balloon payment is the amount you have to pay back at the end of the PCP agreement. In normal circumstances, the balloon payment is considered a perk of PCP, as it allows you to make smaller repayments each month. However, the fact that you’ve been making smaller monthly repayments means that you will have to pay a larger amount when you voluntarily terminate a PCP contract.

For example:

  • You’ve got a total car finance amount of £12,000.
  • You’re making monthly repayments of £180 over a four-year period.
  • By the end of your agreement you will have repaid £8,640.
  • At the halfway point, you will have paid back £4,320.
  • You will have a sum of £1,680 still left to pay to reach your minimum of 50% repayments.

Like all voluntary terminations, even if you have paid back over 50% (e.g. £8,000) you won’t receive any refund.

How does voluntary termination work for HP?

Performing a voluntary termination for a HP agreement is a lot easier because you have usually reached the 50% repayment point when you get halfway through your agreement. If you haven’t, you can simply pay the remainder off.

Does voluntary termination affect my credit score?

Voluntary termination will probably appear on your credit score. However, as long as you make your 50% repayment amount and any additional charges (e.g. for wear and tear), it is unlikely to have a sizeable impact on your ability to get car finance in the future.

If you’re struggling with your finance, it can be tempting to not repay your remaining car finance repayments, but avoid this at all cost. Unpaid finances lead to arrears, which can have a negative impact on your credit score, affect your ability to get car finance in the future and could increase your annual percentage rate (APR).

Before you agree to car finance, you must be confident that you can make your repayments now, and in the future. However, for numerous reasons (which are often unforeseen) sometimes it can be necessary to cancel your car finance agreement early. Voluntary termination is a lengthy process, but we hope our advice will help to make it easier for you.

Rates from 6.9% APR. Representative APR 13.9%

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 13.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 13.85%, 47 monthly payments of £201.38 followed by 1 payment of £211.38 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), a deposit of £0.00, total cost of credit is £2,176.24, total amount payable is £9,676.24.

My Car Credit is a credit broker and not a lender.

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!