What’s an Auto Loan Payoff Quote?

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Megan Foukes is a recent graduate from Indiana University who graduated with a bachelor’s in journalism. Megan works as a content writer for Auto Credit Express and contributes to several automotive and finance blogs.


, - January 24, 2019

When you’re ready to buy a new car and get rid of your old one, you need to request a payoff quote from your lender if your old loan is still open. An auto loan payoff quote, sometimes called a 10-day payoff, states how much you need to pay off the loan balance.

Requesting a 10-Day Payoff Quote

In order to sell a vehicle you owe money on, you need to request a loan payoff amount from your current lender. You can’t simply check your previous statement’s balance, because the statement only says how much you owe on the date it was issued. You need to know how much you owe when factoring in the proper interest charges, and a payoff quote tells you this. Listed in the loan payoff quote is the accruing additional interest, amount owed from the last statement, and any fees or early payoff penalties, if applicable.

Getting the payoff quote is simple. You can contact your lender via telephone, visit them in person, or go online and request a payoff amount. If you call your lender, you have to wait for the written response to come in the mail. If you request it online or in person, the response is quick and you can begin preparing to sell your vehicle. If, however, you’re trading in a vehicle you still owe money on at a dealership, then they should handle paying off the lender for you.

Making the Payoff

Once you get the auto loan payoff quote, the lender lists how many days you have to pay the balance – usually seven or 10 days, which is why it’s sometimes called a 10-day payoff. You need to act fairly quickly, because interest continues to accrue if you can’t make the payoff amount within the given period of days. Any longer, and you have to ask for a new payoff quote that includes additional interest.

As for making sure the lender gets the money, you need to write them a check – whether it’s an e-check or a physical check to be sent in the mail. If you’re sending the check via mail, make sure it’s timed so it gets in the lender’s hands before the payoff amount days are up. Once the lender has the check, you should receive a release of lien letter stating that the loan has been paid off.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to pay off the balance when you ask for a payoff request. You’re simply getting a quote, and you continue to make payments if you’re not ready to pay off the loan. There are other ways to pay off your car loan early that don’t require a payoff quote.

The Bottom Line

Don’t be afraid to request an auto loan payoff quote. It isn’t going to affect your credit, and you’re under no obligation to pay off the balance. If you’re ready to trade in your vehicle for a new one, but worry your credit is holding you back, let CarsDirect help.

We can find you a local dealer that has lenders available to help consumers with all types of credit. You can even use our new and used car buying guides to find your next vehicle. Don't hesitate any longer – fill out our free and easy auto loan request form today.

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Megan Foukes is a recent graduate from Indiana University who graduated with a bachelor’s in journalism. Megan works as a content writer for Auto Credit Express and contributes to several automotive and finance blogs.


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