Can I prepay my loan at any time without penalty?
Whether you can pay off your auto loan early without a penalty depends on your contract and on your states law.
If the lender wants to charge you a penalty or fee to pay off the loan early, the contract has to contain a prepayment penalty clause. Review your Truth in Lending disclosures and the contract before you sign the agreement. These documents will tell you whether there is a penalty for paying early. You should also ask your lender, or the dealer if you are getting dealer-financing, if there is a prepayment penalty. If there is, you can negotiate to have the penalty removed from the contract or ask for a different loan.
Why it matters: If your loan has a high interest rate, you may later be able to refinance at a lower interest rate and payment. When you refinance, you prepay the original loan in full. Ask your bank, credit union, or other lender about interest rates.