Before You Get a Car Loan: What You Need to Know

If you’re looking to purchase a new car, and can’t afford to pay for it fully in cash, your best bet is to opt for a car loan. There are multiple ways and places to obtain one—from banks, credit unions, loan brokers, online direct lenders, auto finance companies, and even dealer financing, you just have to figure out which one is the right one for you and your needs.

Before you actually begin looking for where you will be getting the financing, it would be best to have an idea of what your current credit rating is, as it will factor greatly into how much you can get, and the interest rate which will be added on top of it. Your credit rating is based on an amalgamation of your past working history, how often you have moved jobs and residences, your current debt, and so on. The better your credit rating is the better deal you get.

If your credit rating doesn’t make you an eligible candidate for a loan, my advice is that you ask your mother, father or partner to either request the loan on your behalf or, if you don’t feel like giving them such a great responsibility, they might still help you get the money you need by simply signing the contract with you. There are any number of sites online where you can compute not only your credit rating, but also the possible monthly amortization that you would be paying on the car loan you’re planning to take. Be armed with information.

While you’re out looking for the car of your dreams, you might also want to ask the dealers for rebates and dealer incentives, which will significantly lower the price of the vehicle which you’re eyeing. By asking about them, you may be able to negotiate a better deal. Once you’ve settled on a car, and found a good deal on your car loan, you can still see if perhaps there’s a better deal out there. It may or may not come as a surprise, but you’ll find that most car loans can be re-financed without tagging on a surplus of added costs. In fact, you just might be surprised that you can end up saving money simply by refinancing.