After filing for bankruptcy, your credit takes a major hit. If you have a car loan with a hefty interest rate, you may want or need to refinance it in order to get more manageable payments, but many lenders are hesitant to work with people with a bankruptcy on their credit report. You can still refinance your auto loan after a bankruptcy, but it may take a little more effort. Here are some tips to help you get the best rate on your refinance after bankruptcy.

Check your credit report

If it's been a while since you've filed for bankruptcy, your credit may not be as bad as you think. While a bankruptcy can remain on your credit report for up to 10 years, you can begin rebuilding your credit almost immediately after filing for bankruptcy by making any monthly payments on time, applying for a secured loan or secured credit card and learning to spend responsibly. 

Stay current on your payments

Lenders like to see that you've been responsible with paying back your loan, even after filing for bankruptcy. If you're struggling to make your monthly payments each month, don't wait until you fall behind to try and refinance. If you are trying to refinance with your current lender, call them and explain your situation. If you have a long history with the lender and have always been in good standing prior to the bankruptcy, they may be more likely to work with you to get a better rate or a smaller monthly payment.

Make a large down-payment

Whether you're looking for a new car loan or simply refinancing the one you have already, paying a large cash down-payment can help you get a lower monthly payment, even if it doesn't reduce your overall interest rate. Saving up the money for the down-payment may seem challenging after a bankruptcy, but it's worth the effort if it helps you reduce your monthly payment to your lender. You can then put the money you save on the new monthly payment into a savings account and build yourself a financial safety-net, or pay off your car loan faster.

Consider a co-signer

This option is best for someone who generally has good control of their finances, and who has someone willing to put their own credit on the line to help you out. If you filed for bankruptcy because of large amounts of medical bills, rather than because you took on too much credit card debt, you may be less of a risk to lenders, especially if someone else with good credit agrees to sign with you for the loan. Later, when your credit has improved, you can refinance to have the other borrower taken off the loan.

Bankruptcy doesn't mean you can't get a better deal on car loans, but it does mean you'll have to work a little harder to find the best rate and payment for your needs. Keep these tips in mind, and you could find a great refinancing solution for your auto loan, even after bankruptcy.