Selling A Car With A Loan in 5 Easy Steps

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Selling a car can be a daunting task, especially when you still have an outstanding loan on it. Many car owners find themselves in a situation where they need to sell their vehicle before fully paying off the loan. In this article, we will guide you through the process of selling your car with a loan, ensuring a smooth transaction and a successful sale.

Steps to Sell Car With a Loan

two men shaking hands on a car loan payment deal

1. Determine the Loan Payoff Amount

The first step in selling your car with a loan is to determine the exact amount you owe the lender. Contact your auto loan provider to obtain the payoff amount, which includes the remaining principal balance, any outstanding interest, and any applicable fees. This information is crucial as it will help you calculate the minimum selling price you need to cover the loan balance.

Here are the steps to follow:

  • Gather Loan Information: Collect all the relevant documents related to your car loan, including the loan agreement, payment history, and any correspondence with the lender. Having these documents at hand will help you communicate effectively with the loan provider.
  • Contact Your Lender: Reach out to your auto loan provider by phone, email, or through their online customer portal. Identify the appropriate department or representative who handles loan inquiries.
  • Request the Payoff Amount: Clearly state your intention to sell your car and ask for the current loan payoff amount. The payoff amount is the total sum required to completely satisfy the outstanding balance on the loan. It includes the principal balance, any accrued interest up to the date of the request, and any applicable fees or penalties.
  • Provide Required Information: The lender may ask for specific information to identify your loan account accurately. Be prepared to provide details such as your loan account number, the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) of the car, and personal information to verify your identity.
  • Confirm Calculation Details: Once you receive the loan payoff amount from your lender, take a moment to review the calculations. Ensure that all relevant factors, such as any outstanding interest or fees, are included. If you have any questions or concerns, seek clarification from the lender’s representative.
  • Consider a Payoff Quote Expiration Date: Some lenders provide a “payoff quote” that is valid for a specific period, usually a few days. If you plan to sell your car within that time frame, make a note of the expiration date. If the quote expires before the sale, contact the lender to obtain an updated payoff amount.
  • Verify Payment Instructions: Inquire about the preferred method of payment for the loan payoff. The lender will typically provide instructions on how to make the payment, such as via check, electronic transfer, or through an online portal. Be sure to clarify any specific requirements or deadlines to ensure a smooth transaction.
person reviewing numbers and stats for a car loan

2. Assess the Market Value of Your Car

Next, research the current market value of your car. Consider factors such as the make, model, year, mileage, condition, and any additional features. Several online platforms provide estimated values for used cars, such as Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds. Compare these figures with local listings to get a realistic idea of your car’s worth.

where can i sell my car for the most money? hand full of money

3. Calculate the Equity or Negative Equity

To determine whether you have equity or negative equity, subtract the loan payoff amount from the market value of your car. If the market value exceeds the loan balance, you have equity. Conversely, if the loan balance is higher, you have negative equity. In the latter case, you will need to consider additional steps to handle the difference.

Equity Formula: Car Value – What You Owe = Equity

tools under hood of used vehicle
luxury cars at a dealership

4. Decide on the Selling Method

Once you have a clear understanding of your car’s value and loan payoff amount, you can choose the selling method that suits you best. Some common options include:

a. Private Sale: Selling your car directly to another individual allows you to negotiate the selling price and potentially maximize your earnings. However, keep in mind that handling paperwork and advertising the sale will be your responsibility.

b. Trade-In: If you plan to purchase a new vehicle from a dealership, consider trading in your car. The dealership will assess its value and deduct the outstanding loan amount from the trade-in value. This option may be more convenient, but you may not receive the highest possible price.

c. Sell to a Dealership: Dealerships may be willing to buy your car even if you have an outstanding loan. They will pay off the loan directly and offer you the remaining equity, if any. Remember that the price offered by dealerships might be lower than what you could get through a private sale.

D. Carmigo: The best way to sell your car if you’re looking for ease and speed without missing out on a great deal. Carmigo handles loan payoff for you, so you don’t have to worry about anything.

keys to used car being handed over after loan purchase

5. Complete the Sale

Regardless of the selling method you choose, there are a few essential steps to complete the sale:

a. Gather Documentation: Collect all relevant paperwork, including the vehicle title, loan documents, maintenance records, and any warranties. Ensure that you have a lien release from your lender once the loan is paid off.

b. Negotiate and Close the Deal: In a private sale, be prepared to negotiate the selling price with potential buyers. Once an agreement is reached, create a bill of sale and transfer the ownership properly. If selling to a dealership, review their offer and negotiate if necessary before signing the necessary documents.

c. Pay Off the Loan: Use the funds from the sale to pay off your car loan. If the selling price is lower than the loan balance, you’ll need to cover the difference personally. Ensure that the lender updates the vehicle’s title status to reflect the loan’s closure.

car driving in snow
carmigo marketplace on mobile phone

Skip All These Steps When You Use Carmigo

Carmigo provides an easy and speedy method to sell your car with a loan. After listing your car, Carmigo handles all the paperwork including loan payoff. With a huge network of dealerships, your vehicle receives multiple offers so you get the best price for your car. You set the reserve, and if none of the offers meets it, you don’t pay a dime. Once your car sells, you only have to wait for pickup and then get paid. It’s the ideal way to sell a car with a loan.