Whether you’ve been exploring finance quotes, reading terms and conditions, or simply exploring the information here on Car.co.uk; you may have seen references to car finance settlement figures.
Since settling car finance early can sometimes be a little complicated, we’ve explored the subject in a little more detail here – to help you understand some of the terminology used and explain the processes that finance providers have.
Why do you need a settlement figure?
A settlement figure (sometimes known as an ‘early settle figure’ or ‘ESF’) represents the amount of money you would need to end the finance agreement you have with your car loan company.
As such, it’s probably obvious that you’d need this figure if you wanted to pay off your finance.
So – aside from if you won big on the lottery – why would anyone want to pay off their car finance?
In reality, paying off car finance is more common than you might think. Not necessarily because people have a windfall and want to wipe their debts out – but usually because people would like to either sell their financed vehicle – or change to another car.
In instances like these, the finance company you’re with will need to work out exactly how much you’d need to pay to clear everything you owe. On the surface, this might just sound like you need to add up the number of monthly repayments left to make – but it isn’t always that simple.
For example, a settlement figure for a PCP deal will include your ‘final’ or ‘balloon’ payment – and may very well include some early redemption charges. As such, simply adding up your remaining monthly payments wouldn’t even come close to being an accurate figure.
In fact, most types of finance (PCP, HP, personal loans, and lease plans) include some early repayment charges. Generally, this is because finance companies add interest to their loan monthly, so, the sooner you pay it off, the less interest you’ll pay. This isn’t ideal for the lender, since the interest you pay is money they make. In some cases, lenders will waive this settlement figure if you’re planning to upgrade your car and will be taking finance with them again.
Getting a settlement figure
Getting your early settlement figure is fairly simple – you’ll just need to call your lender and ask them for it.
When you do, they’ll probably want to know why you need it – as it’s often a chance for them to sell you another product.
Also, they’ll give you a time period that your settlement figure is valid for, since scheduled payments you’ll make will reduce it.
If you don’t end up settling your finance within this timeframe, you’ll just need to call back and get an updated figure.
Is there such a thing as an early loan settlement calculator?
People often ask if there’s an online early loan settlement calculator – but unfortunately, there’s not – at least, not one that’s guaranteed to be accurate.
The problem is, different lenders operate differently – and since lenders tend to offer different products, interest rates, and terms and conditions; this means there are thousands of different factors that could influence your settlement.
If you’d like to get an accurate figure, you best bet is to call your lender. It might take a few more minutes compared to an online tool – but they’ll give you a figure that’s 100% accurate and may be able to help you find another great deal.