Cars are more than merely a means of transportation. There an expression of your personality and sense of style. For some people, they’re even a symbol of status or a mark of their trade. Automobiles are many things to many people, but one thing they are to everyone is an investment. In fact, cars are so expensive that most consumers have to rely on lenders to help them with their purchases.
Whether you’re in the market for a new car or a used car, your goal should be to get the best deal possible. That means you should start making preparations long before you head to the dealership to pick out your new vehicle. If you take the right steps, you can lower your monthly payments as well as the interest rates on your auto loan. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about financing a car.
Do some online “window” shopping.
When you know you’re on the market for a new car, it’s a good idea to start looking online at car dealerships beforehand. One of the worst things you can do is show up to a dealership unprepared because you greatly decrease your chances of getting the vehicle you want or need.
Before you head to the dealer, you should already have a good idea in mind of what type of vehicle you want and how much you’re willing to spend on a new vehicle. Don’t let the salespeople talk you up or down because, in the end, you’re the one who has to live with the decision.
Additionally, perusing dealerships online gives you an opportunity to see how much your ideal vehicle costs so you can work on preparing yourself financially for buying a new car. Check the value of the car using a tool like Kelley Blue Book to ensure you get a great deal on your car.
Good credit is like gold to lenders.
The ease of financing a car depends on your creditworthiness. When you begin applying for auto loans, lenders are going to want to pull a copy of your credit report to get a visual of your credit history. The higher your credit score is, the more creditworthiness you have and the more willing lenders will be to finance your new car.
Before you fill out your first credit application, you should check your credit score. If you have a low credit score, you need to negotiate a payment plan or settlement with your creditors so you can get the negative items off your credit history.
A lot of people turn to debt consolidation specialists to help them get their credit back on track. A debt consolidation firm may be able to work out an agreement with your creditors to pay a minimum amount to clear your debt and get your credit back on the road to recovery. The cost of credit repair services varies from agency to agency, so do your due diligence before choosing which debt consolidation pros to help you with your situation.
Put down a larger down payment than what is required.
Many people worry themselves over how much money they’re going to have to put down on their new car because they want to get away with putting down the minimum amount. However, putting down a larger down payment than the lenders require is a great way to lower your interest rates and monthly payments. Look at it this way—you only have to make a down payment once, but those monthly payments and that interest rate are going to be around for several years. The more you can do to lower both, the better it is on your wallet.
Auto financing can be like pulling teeth if you don’t have your credit and financial affairs in order. Work on your credit and save up for a sizeable down payment to make the car financing process easier.