Know Your Loan Options
If you buy a car for the first time, you may have little to no credit history. So, you’ll probably pay more than the lowest prices you’ve seen in dealership ads. You can get better deals if you spend extra time accumulating credit before buying a car. You can also find deals by having financial companies compete for your business. Compare approximate interest rates online. To do this, you can use Auto Blog and get up-to-date quotes from banks and dealerships. Then, see who can beat the lowest score.
Financing through Bank
- Bank financing involves applying directly to a bank or credit union for car loans. The loaner will give you a quote and a letter of guarantee, which you will provide to the dealer, saving you time when negotiating the contract. As a rule, you will receive pre-approval for a loan before entering the dealership.
- Having a particular approved loan amount on paper can also deter a car dealer from convincing you to include extras you don’t need.
- Depending on the bank or credit union, you can apply for pre-approval online or at your local branch. You may have to provide vehicle information, which may cause delays if you are unsure what you want.
- The interest rate offer from a bank or credit union will be the actual interest rate and will not include any markup that may occur when dealing with a dealer.
- However, as a rule, the price offer you receive is not the final offer. When you go to a car dealership to buy a car, the lender will run a rigorous credit check and review your full credit report before approving your application and setting loan rates.
- Remember that your options may differ depending on whether you are buying a new or used car. Few banks and credit unions have limits on the age and mileage of a vehicle, and new vehicles may have lower interest rates in general.
Financing through a Dealer
- Dealer-arranged financing works the same way as bank financing, the only difference being that the dealer does the work on your behalf.
- Once you select your vehicle, the dealer will ask you to fill out a loan application to send to several lenders. Applying through several lenders lets you compare prices and terms to choose the best option.
- However, in some cases, the dealer may negotiate a higher interest rate with you than the one the lender offers and accept the difference as compensation for managing the finances. In other words, you may not get all the information you need to make the best decision.
- You can usually get low interest rates on a new car through a dealer than on a used car. Some dealers may offer promotional funding for new models, including 0% per annum rates for those who qualify.
- Another form of dealer financing occurs when a dealership provides internal funding. These purchase here, pay here dealerships specialize in dealing with people with or without bad credit. However, these loans’ costs and down payment requirements are high, and there is also a higher likelihood of repossession.
Keep Your Loan Term Short
A longer-term loan will lower your monthly payments but could cost you hundreds or thousands more in interest. You can also get stuck paying for a car that costs less than you owe. Try to shorten the word of the loan—no more than 60 months, preferably less. You will save money in the long run. Of course, one way to reject high monthly payments is to buy a cheaper car.
Know Your Budget
To solve what you can afford, return to your desired monthly payment and look at the car’s total cost. And, if you’re buying a used car to save some money, be sure to budget more than the price. Used vehicles may need maintenance and have little to no warranty left. So, you want to be covered.
Make a Minimum 20% Down Payment
You are investing more money when buying has many benefits. It’ll be easier to qualify for financing, so the lender takes on less risk. You’ll pay less interest on the loan and lower monthly payments. You offset the vehicle’s depreciation, which is even more critical for used cars. And if the vehicle gets into an accident, you’ll owe less to pay it off. You can also save money by paying all taxes and fees at the purchase instead of including them in your monthly payments and paying interest on them.