There are few investments in a lifetime that people make knowing they will lose money. But, when it comes to buying a new car, a loss is a given. Despite this, almost everyone needs a car to get around and handle the business of daily living. Getting a good car loan rate, however, can minimize the impacts of the loss and make the experience much more enjoyable for the car buyer.
Knowing it’s important to get a good car loan rate and actually getting one, however, can be two different things. Car loan rates tend to be high for those with no credit, poor credit or lower income. It might not seem fair, but it’s set up that way because these folks tend to be higher risks for the loan companies. Even those with less than perfect credit, however, can get good car loan rates if they employ a little common sense in the search.
Before shopping for a car, determine these things:
* Credit score. How you’re rated will greatly effect the resulting car loan rate you can get. If there are problems with your credit report, get them fixed in advance of applying for a car loan rate. If you have old debts that need to be paid off, even small ones, do so.
* Down payment. Determine the size down payment you can reasonably swing. The more you can put toward a new car, the less your car loan rate is likely to be. This doesn’t always hold true, but when it does, the savings can be great. Further more, the more you put down, the less you’ll have to finance, which means a lower amount of total interest payments in the long run.
* Shop rates and banks. Sometimes it pays to let the dealer handle the loan, other times it doesn’t. If you have a relationship established with a bank or credit union, find out how much a car loan rate would be and see how much you can get approved for before shopping. If the rates are reasonable, it’s easier to walk into a dealer knowing exactly what you have to spend.
* Consider your trade in. If you’re upside down in your old car, try to get out of it without passing along the upside down situation.
If you’ve done everything you can do in advance and you’re not happy with the car loan rate your bank or credit union is offering, go see what the car dealers have to offer. They can sometimes get you better car loan rates than your bank.
Before going to the first dealer you think of, make sure you know what kind of car or cars you’d be interested in. Check out makes, models and prices along with safety history and then go shopping. Take your time to ensure the best car loan rate possible.
Not everyone will qualify for 1 percent financing, but that doesn’t mean 20 percent needs to be accepted either when it comes to a car loan rate. Shop around and get the best deal you can before diving in and signing on the dotted line.
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