Loan Terms for the Savvy Car Shopper

If you don’t know what you’re looking for when you head out to buy a car, there’s a good chance you’ll end up with either a bad car or a bad loan. Decent car loans definitely exist, but you have to know how the game is played in order to get the terms you want. Before signing off on a loan, make sure you educate yourself on the process and what you can expect to be offered.

Repayment Period

Sometimes a long repayment sounds like a nice way to casually buy, but this can leave you underwater – indebted more to a lender than what your vehicle is worth. You want to pay down the debt as quickly as possible, so shorter terms with no early-repayment fees are usually the best bet.

Total Amount vs. Monthly Payment

If you focus too much on setting the monthly payment, you lose sight of how much you’ll be paying in total. Keep reminding yourself that the goal is to spend as little as possible; you’ll already be spending a good sum of money to get a new vehicle, so you need to make sure you’re not paying too much extra by way of interest and loan servicing fees.

Interest Rate Variables

Your credit score isn’t the only determining factor when it comes to interest rates on car loans. Lenders have just as much interest in your income, driving history and the type of car you’re buying. If you don’t want to get caught off guard and end up with bad terms, you need to think about all these matters before you apply for a loan.

Good car loans make car buying much easier, while bad loans can turn the process into a nightmare. If you want to avoid the latter scenario, turn yourself into a savvy shopper before you start looking for your next car.

How to Buy a Car If You Have Bad Credit


In the auto industry, “bad credit” typically refers to a score of 600 or lower. If your score is less than ideal, you may think that you can’t get a car loan or that you have to lease. However, this is simply not true anymore.

Bad-credit car loans exist to help people just like you. Before you enter in to such a loan, it’s important to understand how your credit can affect your loan and what you can do to get a deal that makes sense for you.

The Myth

Decades ago, there were only a few big banks that did car loans. Back then, if you had bad credit, it was nearly impossible to get a car loan. While times have changed, many people still believe that their credit history will keep them from auto ownership.

The Truth

In contrast to popular belief, a credit score below 600 doesn’t have to stop your car ownership dreams. We have options available for you. However, lenders may require a larger interest rate to finance these loans.

Know Your History

Before you buy a car, check your credit history, not just your score. There may be something on your report that is not accurate. If a piece of your credit report doesn’t reflect what happened, you could end up paying higher interest for no reason. Contact the credit bureau if you see inconsistencies.

Improve Your Score

If your score is rightfully low and you’re working on it, you can still get a car loan now. In fact, making regular payment could help raise that score. You can buy today and refinance when your credit has improved. This option can get you in a car when you need it and still save you money down the road.

A spot of bad luck can hurt your credit score, but that shouldn’t stop you from getting into a new or used car. Ask about your options, and we can help find the right deal for you.

Smart Shopping for Used Cars

Buying a used car can be daunting if you haven’t purchased one before. There are always concerns about the condition of the vehicle, but if you work closely with a reputable dealer specializing in used cars, you can get a dependable vehicle for a great price. Asking the right questions and doing some research is part of the process.

Find a Dependable Make and Model

Kelley Blue Books and online consumer groups can help you find makes and models that are rated well for reliability and low repair costs. If a car doesn’t have a good resale value, there may be a reason. Don’t forget to check gas mileage and maintenance costs as well.

Test Drive Used Cars

Never purchase any vehicles without taking them out for a test drive. Listen to the engine, pay attention to any knocking or pinging and get a feel for how smooth the ride is. When you test drive, make sure you take the vehicle on local roads as well as the highway. Trying a used vehicle under a variety of condition will help you narrow down your options to cars that you’re truly comfortable driving.

Get a Vehicle History Report

Request a vehicle history report from one of several online services. You’ll need the vehicle identification number (VIN number), which any auto dealership can provide you. You can also see it in the lower corner of the driver’s side window when you’re looking at it from outside. When you check the report, look for accidents, water damage and other issues that could affect the car’s performance.

Consider Other Costs

Insurance, monthly maintenance and fuel economy all figure into the actual cost of a car, not just the sticker price. Get insurance quotes, look into maintenance costs and check the mileage estimates. All of these will impact the car’s actual cost.

Proper research and working with a trusted automobile dealership will guarantee you the best price for your next used car.

Securing a Car Loan With Bad Credit: 4 Other Factors a Lender Might Consider

Bad credit happens, but it doesn’t have to stop you from getting financing for a vehicle. If you’re credit score is in a bit of a valley, it pays to remember that there are other factors lenders consider when deciding whether to approve your loan.

  1. Available Collateral

 

If you need an auto loan and you have a low credit score, then the value of the vehicle you’re purchasing becomes all the more important. This is because the market value of the car is what a lender would hold as collateral should you be unable to pay back your loan. The higher the value of the vehicle, the more attractive a risk you may look to a potential lender, even with poor credit ratings.

 

  1. A Cosigner

If you’re shopping for bad credit car loans, maybe finding a cosigner would be wise. This is somebody with good credit who will become responsible to pay off the loan should you find yourself unable to do so. This helps provide the lender with some security in their investment and reassurance that they will be paid back. A cosigner is usually a close friend or family member.

  1. Expenses Versus Income

 

If your expenses (other loan payments, mortgage payments) are moderate and your income is higher, than a lender is more apt to view you as a low-risk borrower. This could mean picking up that second job for evenings and weekends, or it could indicate that you should get whatever school loans and mortgages paid off that you can.

 

  1. Down Payment

If you can save up the cash, making a solid down payment may help demonstrate for a lender that you are serious about making good financial decisions. Another benefit to a down payment like this is that it reduces the principal loan amount, so there’s less money on the line and the lender has less cause for concern.

Despite your bad credit, these aspects of your finances are taken into consideration by lending institutions when you’re applying for a car loan. The above suggestions should be helpful in scoring the funds you need.

How to Secure the Best Car Loan

You may have spent countless hours looking for the perfect new car and are eager to move into the actual car buying process. However, if you plan on using a car loan to help pay for your new vehicle, then you should spend an equal amount of time looking for car loans. Here is how you can make sure that you secure the best car loan available to you.

 

Pay Attention to the Pricing

 

When you are looking for a car loan you should take into account how much you will have to pay per month as well as how much the loan costs overall. This can help you avoid falling for bad deals, which are more prevalent than many people realize.

 

It is important to have an idea of how much you are able to spend before you begin shopping around for a car loan. Having a budget in place can help you avoid getting locked into an adverse deal.

 

Loan Duration Matters

 

Another simple way to ensure that you are securing the best car loan is by paying attention to the overall length of the loan. Generally, the shorter the loan is the better. Some people hesitate about getting shorter loans because it tends to mean the payments are more expensive month to month. However, if you want to save more money in the end, then you may want to consider getting a short car loan.

 

Sometimes people choose longer loan terms since it allows them to space out their payments. The biggest downfall to longer loan terms is that the interest rates can add up over time.

 

In the end, the most important thing is to choose a car loan that you can afford to pay for each month. As you can see, purchasing a car loan takes just as much thought as buying a car. By studying the overall costs and the loan length, you will be able to find the best car loan.

Leasing a Car: When is it Better than Buying?

If you’re in the market for a vehicle, deciding between buying and the financial alternative of leasing is not always easy. There are some benefits to car leasing that merit looking into before making your decision.

Access to Higher Quality Vehicles for Less

Without going into serious debt, leasing should place within your grasp better, more expensive vehicles than your pocketbook could normally handle.

Minimal Repair Costs

In most cases, leasing puts you under the dealership’s warranty, which means that you’re not fully responsible for all repairs and maintenance, like you would be if you bought and owned the vehicle.

Smaller Down Payment

Your down payment on the vehicle is usually significantly lower when you’re leasing rather than buying, so in terms of fronting the cash, this is an appealing option. This should also keep you from being what’s called upside down in the loan, which means you owe more on the car than its worth.

Lower Monthly Payments

Generally, the monthly car payments will be more manageable when you’re leasing instead of attempting to buy, because you’re not paying as much principal. Maybe you have one of those minimum wage jobs that struggles to make ends meet the way you need it to; leasing a vehicle rather than buying might just help.

Frequent Vehicle Variation

If you’re someone who is normally interested in a new vehicle every couple of years or so, then you may find leasing is for you. Leasing is a great option if you want to switch out vehicles and have something different more often than if you were buying. It’s pretty easy: when you’re finished with the vehicle, it’s a simple drop-off at the dealership.

 

Owning a vehicle is appealing, but it’s true that car leasing holds some benefits of its own. With lower payments and less hassle at trade-in, it may be that leasing will be better for you and your circumstances, so don’t dismiss it.

Getting a Car Loan With Bad Credit

You know you probably need to replace your car, but your credit is not stellar. It is a mistake to assume that your low credit score is a deal breaker when it comes to financing your next vehicle, though. Dealerships handle bad credit car loans all the time, so don’t abandon all hope that you will be approved. All you need to do is prove that you are not as much of a credit risk as your score might indicate.

 

How Low is Your Credit?

 

Many people are unaware of their credit score. Maybe you assume that it is terrible because you had problems a few years ago. Before you come to the dealership, get a copy of your credit report. Not only may you be pleasantly surprised at your score, but you might also discover quick ways to raise your score. Be sure to correct any mistakes on your report that you find. If you catch them in time, you can get them corrected before you need the car loan.

 

How Much Do You Make?

 

If you have bad credit, you can often offset it with proof that you have a significant amount of disposable income. Credit only shows your payment history. It does not show your present or future. Your pay stubs, however, can give the dealership a fuller picture of your actual ability to honor the terms of the loan.

 

How Much Can You Put Down?

 

You can also increase your loan approval chances by making a large down payment. A large down payment can also help you get better terms on the car loan. This lowers the total amount you are asking to borrow, which makes you less of a credit risk to the dealership.

 

Your credit history does not have to end your chances of getting the car you want. If you can prove that you can afford the vehicle, your loan application is likely to be approved.

Overcoming Bad Credit in the Search for Good Car Loans

You might be able to survive without a car, but that doesn’t mean it’s convenient. When you need a vehicle to get to work, that’s the reality of your situation. Unfortunately, some lenders tend to care more about a credit score than they do your personal situation. Bad credit car loans are a necessity for many shoppers, so it’s important to know how you can get a good loan when your financial history is a little bit lacking.

 

Don’t Lose Hope

 

If you assume your credit is going to ensure you’ll never get a good rate, you’re already admitting defeat. If lenders and dealerships avoided everyone with bad credit, car sales would probably go down significantly. Keep on searching and you’ll eventually find someone willing to give you at least decent terms.

 

Shop Local

 

Bad credit car loans are difficult to get when you’re going through a faceless bank, but become much more realistic when you work with an actual person. This allows you to discuss your situation beyond the bad credit score and make your case for why you’re not a high-risk borrower.

 

Target Overall Terms

 

Once you start talking about monthly payments, you’ve already lost your leverage. You should discuss the overall terms of the loan so you know how much the car will actually cost. With long-term numbers established, you won’t get tricked by low monthly payments and high interest fees that end up being very costly as the years go by.

 

Skip the Bells and Whistles

 

Some lenders will try and tempt you with add-ons that don’t actually save you any money. Stay focused on the cost of the car, the interest rate and and the terms of the loan.

 

A low credit score can hold you back, but it can be overcome. Look for car loans with reasonable terms, keep your eyes on the prize and you should be able to get what you need.

What to Do if You Can’t Pay Your Car Loan

If you’re struggling to make your car loan payments, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. The number of people failing to make their payments 60 days after purchasing a car with bad credit car loans has actually been on the rise recently. Fortunately, there are things you can do to avoid losing the valuable asset that you just purchased. The dealers who sold you your car know how important it is to you, and they’re ready to work with you to ensure that you can get past this temporary challenge and improve your quality of life.

 

Dealers are willing to issue bad credit car loans because they know that having a car opens up major opportunities for a person to improve his or her quality of life and get new employment. Everyone goes through a tricky period of time after purchasing a new car when they are suddenly saddled down with car payments but the actual benefits of having that car haven’t fully kicked in yet. Don’t worry – people involved in your car purchase have long-term vision and they know that things will soon get better for you. That’s why it’s important to be honest with your lender and the dealership about your situation.

 

You can often make a deal with your lender to restructure the loan so that the payments are less onerous. You might also be able to take advantage of a temporary hardship program to put some payments off until you get on more solid financial ground. Whatever the solution, the most important thing is that you communicate with everyone involved as soon as you start experiencing difficulties.

 

Remember, purchasing your car with bad credit car loans was a good decision, even if you’re struggling temporarily. You made the major step of acquiring a vehicle, and your quality of life will soon improve. In the meantime, work closely and openly with your lenders and the dealership to find a way to make your car loan payments manageable.

4 Costly Mistakes to Avoid When Getting a Car Loan From a Dealer

When getting car loans, the most common financing option is to work with your dealer. We can offer you great terms and put you in a safe and reliable vehicle. However, be sure you do your homework to work out the best deal for you. Avoid these costly mistakes and you’ll be alright.

 

  1. Not Knowing Your Credit Score

 

A seedy dealer will try to tell you your credit is worse than it is, but even with a reputable dealer like us, knowing your credit score will put you on equal footing so you can negotiate a price on your own terms. You should know not only your score but any blemishes you might have. If you explain good reasons for a setback in your score, we may be willing to work with you despite the number.

 

  1. Not Negotiating Loan Terms in Pieces

 

You don’t want to negotiate your loan in terms of monthly payments alone. You’ll likely end up with a longer loan period and have to pay a fortune in interest. Instead, talk to us about each section of the process separately – trade-in value, price and financing. You’ll have a good chance at getting a good car at a great price.

 

  1. Not Choosing Correctly Between Low-Interest Loan and Cash Rebate

 

If you have great credit, you may be offered a low-interest rate for car loans, but should you take that over a cash rebate? Do your research and figure out which will save you the most money as offers vary.

 

  1. Not Purchasing Add-Ons Separately

 

Paying for add-ons up front instead of adding them into your loan can save you hundreds of dollars over the term of your financing. If you can’t resist things like fabric protection and extra sealant on your paint job, be sure you have the extra cash to put towards it on the down payment.

 

Car loans don’t have to cost you a lot of money on top of the price of the car. By avoiding these costly mistakes, you can keep your financing at a price you can afford so you can pick the best vehicle for your budget.