How to Trade in a Car That is Not Paid Off

Excited Couple Reviewing Trade in Offer with Salesman

There are so many benefits to trading in a car. You can upgrade your vehicle for your growing family while subtracting from the amount of money you need to borrow. Most of the Southgate drivers we see who come to Moran Buick GMC to trade in their cars have already paid off that vehicle’s loan. But for drivers who haven’t paid off their last auto loan and are wondering how to trade in a car that is not paid off, the finance team at Moran Buick GMC is here to help. We’ll work to find the best option for you and your budget 

The Difference Between Positive or Negative Equity

The first step in understanding how to trade in a car you still owe on is finding out if you have positive or negative equity. Positive equity means your car is worth more than what you owe on the loan. Negative equity means you owe more than your car is worth. How do you find out if you have positive or negative equity before trading a car in Brownstown or Dearborn? First, check your most recent statement to see how much you still owe on your car. You can also get this information by contacting your lender. Next, you need an estimate of the value of your car. There are several ways you can do this: 

  • Check websites like Kelley Blue Book® or to see what vehicles that are the same make, model, and year as yours are selling for in the Taylor area.
  • Use our complimentary value your trade tool.
  • Make an appointment with Moran Buick GMC to have your vehicle appraised.

If the prices you’re seeing are are lower than the amount you owe, you have negative equity. That’s when trading in a car that’s not paid off can get tricky.

Trading in a Car with Negative Equity

It’s easy to trade in a car with positive equity—the amount of the loan will be covered by what you’re paid for your trade-in. But if you have negative equity, you’ll need to consider these options: 

  • Make up the difference you still owe after accounting for the trade-in price. While not everyone will have enough spare cash to do this, it will work in your favor if you do because this is the easiest way to trade a car with negative equity.
  • Transfer the amount you still owe to a new loan. Transferring the amount to your new loan can increase the monthly payment and in the end, you will still be paying for a car that you traded in. If you can’t keep up with your current car payments and you are downsizing with a cheaper car, this could be the best option for you.

No matter which options you end up going with, Moran Buick GMC recommends you always read the contract carefully before signing any new car loan. 

Learn More About the Trade-in Process with Moran Buick GMC 

If you’d like more information on how to trade in a car that’s not paid off, contact the Moran Buick GMC finance department. We’ll gladly help you go over your options and find the one that’s best for your budget. You can learn more about the car-buying process and how to make the most of your money—just visit our car-buying tips.

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