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Steer clear? auto loan refinancing

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A lower car payment, what’s not to like?

It’s an enticing proposition, but refinancing an auto loan can often significantly increase the amount you have to pay over the life of a loan.

‘‘The concept of lowering your monthly payments will often outweigh the financial sensibility of that decision,’’ said Jack Gillis, auto expert for the Consumer Federation of America.

And yet, a growing number of borrowers are electing to refinance their auto loan. Last year, auto loan refinance inquiries on LendingTree.com nearly doubled from a year earlier, according to the online lending service. Completed loans jumped 47 percent from the previous year.

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