How to Get a Great Car Loan

If you are like most, you love the idea of driving a shiny, new car. Buying one can be exciting, but be careful not to get stuck with a bad car loan. Car loans come in many different forms, each with a wide variety of terms. Here are some suggestions for getting the best possible terms.

Know Your Credit

Before you go to the dealership, do some homework. Specifically, research your credit score and history. The big credit bureaus can give you a copy of your credit report. If you understand you credit worthiness, you will be in a better place to negotiate great car loan terms.

Determine a budget

Knowing how much you can afford to spend on your car each month will help you find a car loan that is realistic for you. Remember, though, that the cost of your car is more than just your payment. Don’t forget to factor in insurance, maintenance, gas, and other vehicle-related expenses. Once you know how much you can afford to pay every month, you can use a car loans calculator to determine the total price range of cars you can afford.

Shop Around

When you are ready to buy a new car, consider shopping several dealerships to find the best deal and loan terms. Not every automobile dealer will be able to sell you a car at the same price with the same terms. Remember, if you spend even a thousand dollars less for your car, you will save a tremendous amount in interest over the life of your loan.

Get Financing

You have several options for securing an automobile loan. Banks, credit unions, and financing companies all lend to car buyers. You might find, though, that financing through the dealership is the best option.

When you are ready to buy a car, you should try your best to get the best financing terms. By following a few suggestions, you will receive a great deal when shopping for car loans.

Tips for Getting an Auto Loan With Bad Credit

Bad credit car loans are available to those who have had some financial woes in the past, but are ready to improve their score. The key is knowing how to increase your chances of qualifying for a loan that has decent terms even though your credit might make finance departments a bit nervous.


Come Into the Dealership Prepared


When you are going to apply for financing at a dealership, there is some general information and documentation they need to ensure that you can be evaluated for a vehicle loan. You want to bring recent paystubs, your driver’s license, a utility bill and personal references. It is ideal that your paystubs show your year-to-date income so that they can better assess how much you earn monthly. With your references, at least one from an employer is helpful too.


Know Your Budget and Adjust Your Expectations


You should have a rough estimate concerning your budget when you walk into the dealership. Once you start working with the finance department, you might need to adjust your expectations based on the options they can offer you.


Prepare for a Larger Down Payment


Think of a larger down payment as a show of good faith. You are essentially telling the dealership that you are ready to drive off the lot today and that you know that your credit is not great, so you are giving them more upfront. This can be beneficial in helping you to get better financing options through them. To determine the best down payment, consider putting down 25 percent of the vehicle cost. For example, if you are planning to buy a vehicle that costs $10,000, bring at least $2,500 for a down payment.


You want to be upfront with the finance department about your credit history from the beginning. This saves time for all parties involved because they will be able to better focus their efforts on the options that you may qualify for.

What First-Time Buyers Should Know About Car Loans

Buying your first car is a thrilling if overwhelming, experience. There’s something so satisfying about making that investment for the first time. However, if you’re not prepared, financing your ride can be terrifying.


We believe in providing an exceptional car-buying experience. This experience should be exciting, not stressful. So, here are a few things you should know about car loans before buying your first car.


Total Loan Amount


When you discuss financing, you may hear about your total amount. This may sound complicated, but it’s just the price you negotiated for the car, plus any taxes and fees, minus your down-payment.




Don’t be confused by the term; the total loan amount isn’t the amount you will pay over the length of your loan. Car loans typically include interest, which is the percentage you pay to the lender for the service.


In the auto industry, you may see this rate referred to as “APR.” The lower the APR, the less you will pay over the life of the loan.


Monthly Payments


If you’re mostly concerned about your monthly budget, pay attention to your monthly payment. This will be your total loan amount plus your total interest, divided by the number of months on your loan.


Loan lengths can vary widely. You can get short, one-year loans or up to 84-month plans. The longer the loan, the less you will pay each month. However, you will be paying longer. We will work with you to find a loan that makes sense for your budget.


Know Your Credit Score


You may be able to receive financing no matter what your score is. However, your score may affect what type of financing you receive. For example, low credit may mean a higher interest rate. On the other side, if you have great credit, you may qualify for special financing options.


Don’t get overwhelmed by the terms surrounding car loans. Our financing professionals are here to help you understand and enjoy your first car-buying experience.

Advice for a Lower Monthly Car Payment

When you are checking out car loans, your monthly payment is going to be one of the biggest factors to consider. There are several elements to look at that might help to reduce what you will pay each month.


Get Pre-Approved for Your Loan


When you have an idea about what you might qualify for, this can help you to craft a budget before you commit to a loan. Factors like your personal financial situation and credit score will play a role in this process.


Put More Money Down on the Vehicle


Remember that the less money you need to borrow, the less money you are going to repay. When you put more money down, you can expect your monthly payment to be lower. This is due to less interest being able to accumulate, reducing your total loan costs. Your salesperson can help you choose your down payment based on your monthly budget.


Consider a Loan With a Longer Term


When you have longer to pay on your loan, this stretches it out and can make your monthly obligation smaller. However, keep in mind that the longer you take to pay on your loan, the more you are likely going to pay overall due to the interest having longer to accumulate.


Be Aware of All of the Fees


When you finance a vehicle, the loan might implement different fees that will increase the total amount of your loan. The larger your loan, the more you are going to pay each month to repay the debt. You want to look carefully at your loan documents before agreeing to it.


Talk to your salesperson at the dealership about what you might expect in terms of your monthly payment. In addition to the tips above, you might also consider a cosigner with good credit to get a more favorable loan which could help to reduce your total costs.

How to Get Pre-Approved for Bad Credit Car Loans

If you’re interested in shopping for new or used cars but your credit rating is abysmally low, all is not lost. You can acquire what is known as a pre-approval from credit unions or banks in order to get started on the process of upgrading your personal transportation. Pre-approval is basically a thorough evaluation that determines how much money a lender would be willing to grant you given your credit history. It takes a whole-picture approach to your credit evaluation and could make it much easier for you to get a good deal on bad credit car loans.


When you go for a pre-approval, the evaluator will look carefully at your income and your various expenses as well as your credit score. Because it takes into account so many factors, your pre-approval could paint a much more positive picture of your financial situation than a bare bones credit rating does. As long as you don’t undergo any significant changes to your source of income or your monthly expenses, you can use this evaluation to shop for bad credit car loans through your local dealership.


Since the pre-approval is meant to capture a wide variety of aspects of your financial situation, be prepared for it to take some time. It is possible that it could take up to a few weeks to be fully completed. However, once you have the documents outlining your financial situation, you will be able to take it to your local dealership to start the process of buying a new car.


It’s always important to remember that there are ways to overcome impediments to buying a new car such as a low credit rating. Bad credit car loans are always available, even if it might take a few extra steps to get a good deal. Fortunately, getting a pre-approval can significantly lower your rates on car loans with bad credit.