Which Auto Financing Option Is Best For You

Because there are so many ways to finance a car, there is no reason why buyers should focus on one particular method to finance a vehicle. There are several ways to finance a car and understanding each method is very important for first time buyers. At the auto dealership or at the bank, the paper work may be confusing, so being educated is a requirement. Many first time buyers use only the best financing options; however, there are eight common methods that are highly recommended.

During the shopping process, no matter if it is a new or used vehicle; there will be various financing options. However, most first time buyers simply buy their vehicles directly from the dealer. They do this because it is the most convenient option. They will not have to travel to a bank or a credit union; all financing is done at one location. When using this particular method, be aware of markups; the dealer may increase the financing rates. Although dealership financing options are convenient, most first time buyers think that dealership financing is the only option. Shopping around for other financing options that are offered by third party lenders may be a better choice depending on the dealership.

Banks and credit unions should be considered as well. When banks provide loans to first time car buyers, they provide the loans on their own terms. In some cases, banks may offer cheaper interest rates. If a bank does this, consider taking the bank’s offer to the dealership; the salesperson at the car dealership may lower the dealership’s offer if the bank’s offer is better. A credit union is a great way to finance a car as well.

Another option is using a captive financing company. These types of companies are agents of the car manufacturers. Captive auto companies have one purpose, and that purpose is getting buyers into the vehicles that are offered by the auto company.

First time car buyers that may get a big financial windfall in the future should consider a balloon payment loan. When this method is used, the payments each month will be lower. However, although the payments will be less, the company will need a big payment once the loan term ends.

A secured car loan is a loan that is backed by different types of collateral, such as another vehicle or general property. Because this loan uses collateral, the interest rates are often lower. When first time buyers use their current driving vehicles as collateral, they use an auto pawn loan. However, using this particular type of loan has some major risks. The payments can have multiple loan segments, and the debt and interest could increase.

Long term car loans give buyers a much lower monthly payment; however, the loan takes longer to pay. The usual amount of time it takes to completely pay a long term car loan is about seven years. This has some minor risks as the buyer may end up paying more than the vehicle is worth. Overall, there are many car financing options for first time buyers. Consider the best method based on the financial situation.

Smart Ways to Finance a Vehicle

When you want to buy a car and are trying to figure out how to pay for it your options can seem confusing. Financing a car is something that most of us will do in our lifetime, so let’s look at the two most popular options: obtaining financing from a private lender, and obtaining financing from the dealership.

Financing Through a Private Lender

When you are going to get a loan, be sure to get a copy of your credit score and credit report before you go so that you’re armed with that information ahead of time. This information helps lenders determine whether or not to approve you for a loan and what interest rate to offer you if you are approved. This is an important first step because your credit score can actually take a bit of a hit when you are comparing lenders if they are all making requests for your credit history. Once you have that information start contacting banks and credit unions to determine who has the best rates and terms for the loan.

Rates for used cars will be a bit higher than new cars, so be ready for that if you are trying to buy a used car. If you are buying a used car, these are some important things you should know before you go to get financing:

  • • Make and model
  • • VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)
  • • Age of the car
  • • Mileage on the car
  • • Sometimes lenders will have restrictions on whether or not they can even issue loans based on when the car was initially purchased, how many miles are on it, and what the standing is of the title.

Once you have found the best rate bring a pre-qualification letter, which states the terms and conditions of the loan, to the dealership so that you can prove that you have secured financing. This will also give you bargaining power if the car dealership offers you financing at a higher rate. Also be sure to bring that same credit report and credit score that you brought to the bank. This will provide you with as much leverage as possible to get a good rate from the dealership to compete with what you have already locked in with your bank.

Financing Through a Dealership

Interest rates from car dealerships tend to be higher than rates from private lenders so if you can get a lower rate from a bank or credit union that is usually the best route to take. The advantage of getting financing from the dealership is that they can work more with people who may have difficulty getting bank financing due to their credit. Dealerships have to offer financing on the vehicles that they sell and if you cannot get financing elsewhere, having financing at a higher rate is better than having no financing at all. Dealerships are also able to offer incentives that banks cannot offer. For instance, dealerships can offer things like a trade-in on your current vehicle and rate reductions or better terms if you supply a down payment.

Some Lessons to Remember:

  1. Not all credit scores will be the same. It may be worth checking using multiple credit score services to ensure that you are getting the credit score that is going to give you the best chance of securing financing and getting the best interest rate.
  2. Check multiple sources! If you just go with whatever financing is presented to you from the dealership you may be missing out on a better rate. Over the lifetime of the car this can add up to a large sum!
  3. If you get turned down for financing that can be difficult to hear, but it might actually be for the best. Getting rejected when applying for a loan means that the lender does not have certainty that you will be able to pay back that loan. So take that information and know that you will likely have to look for a less expensive car.