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<<I only have about $1600 left to pay off my car loan (at 6% interest) Is it better to go ahead and pay it all off now, so I'll have an extra $290 each month? (which I could do if I wanted to) or keep paying gradually and keep the extra money in my checking account?>>

Looking at the numbers, you have about 6 months left to pay the car off. If the money is part of your emergency fund, then I would keep it in the savings account since the car loan interest rate is low. If it is not part of your emergency fund, you may want to invest it instead if the money is not needed in the short term.
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