Car credit is an all encompassing term for the hows and whys of financing the purchase of a new or used car. Its ambit covers loans, payments options, car refinance and leasing. It’s a complex subject so let’s look at a few fundamentals you need to understand before venturing out into these waters.
Secured loans are offered against collateral such as fixed assets or property and the interest rate is lower than for unsecured loans. However, since unsecured car loans are easy to come by, you may prefer to keep the secured loan option for some other purpose.
Before applying for car credit get a copy of your latest credit report and fix any issues which may have a negative impact on a potential lender. Car credit covers both buying and leasing. Leasing is cheaper, but what you get is the right to use a car for the lease period after which you give it back to the leasing company. You have not bought a car and it is not your property.
Be careful in filling out your application for car credit. The application will be checked in detail and an honest error may appear, to the finance company, as an attempt to mislead them.
Research all the car credit options available to you but do not make multiple loan applications. These will be reflected in your credit report and may make it seem that you are desperate for a loan which may make potential lenders wary.
Be realistic in planning your purchase and monthly installment budget. It is tempting to go in for a great sounding offer that will allow you to buy a car you never thought you could afford. But the bottom line to use for evaluating any car credit offer is how much you will be paying every month and how much is towards the car and how much is interest in the loan.
Prepare a budget you are comfortable with. Do not fall into the trap of availing of higher car credit in the expectation of increased income in the future. Base your planning on what is, not what will be. At the same time, remember that taking car credit for the maximum time possible may reduce your monthly payments, but the longer duration of the car loan will increase the amount you will be paying in interest.
Keep accurate records of everything – your down payment, all extra expenditures like insurance, registrations and so on, your monthly installments etc. In case of any disputes with the finance company, you have all the information you need with you.