Studies show that 84.5 percent of consumers who acquire a new vehicle finance their purchase. While the number who choose to lease their vehicles is on the rise, a majority of buyers who are financing are going to secure an auto loan.
Unfortunately, many purchasers don’t take the time to research their loans before entering a finance office. When this happens, you could be stuck paying twice as much as you should be paying in interest. Here’s what you need to know to get a reasonable car loan so you can get the lowest cost loan possible so you don’t have to struggle to pay your car note:
Secure a Loan before You Visit the Dealership
Everyone knows that they need to compare interest rates before ever signing a loan agreement. Comparisons help you find the best deal for the best term. You could do your comparison efforts in a finance office at a dealership but that will take away your bargaining power with the salesman.
It’s best to compare loan rates and gather pre-approvals a few days or weeks before you’re going to commit to buying the car of your dreams. When you walk in with the best loan and a draft check, you have more power than any dealer wants to see. You’ll get the best deal on a loan, which means the dealership won’t get a commission, and you can then haggle more with the purchase price of the car.
Save Up to Put Money Down
Having a down payment can make all the difference if you have less-than-perfect credit. Experts recommend expecting to put 20% down when you’re buying a car, but most tier 1 buyers won’t need to put anything down unless they have negative equity in their trade. If you have blemishes on your credit report, the bigger the down payment, the better.
Choose a New or Newer Model Vehicle with Low Miles
If you want one of the lower rates on the market, the age of the vehicle will matter. New vehicle interest rates are lower than the rates for a used car that’s 3 or more model years old. Some lenders offer a newer used model rate, which allows you to buy a car that’s 1 or 2 years old and has low mileage.
Watch Out for Front-Loaded Interest
Beware of loans that sound too good to be true. You should always look at the provisions built into the loan to see how payments are applied and how interest is charged. The best loans are those where interest is divided up equally into each payment. Avoid loans where interest is front-loaded so you’re paying little to the principal until the second half of your term.
Don’t Finance GAP Insurance
You’re going to be offered the option to buy GAP insurance at the dealership. This is one of the many add-ons that the finance officer will make a commission off of. The price of GAP coverage at the dealer is inflated. You also have to consider that you’ll be paying interest on the protection. It’s better to find GAP coverage through your bank or your insurer.
Keep each of these 5 suggestions in mind when you’re on a mission to get a car loan from a company like Clubmoney. Getting a loan should be the first priority if you’re serious about staying on budget. Once you have a loan, take the steps so that you don’t fall into dealer traps.