Buying a car will impact you in many ways, including the manner in which you budget and spend your money. As such a big decision, it’s critical that you’re 100 percent comfortable with every aspect of the purchase process.
Unless you’re paying with cash – which isn’t something most people do – you’ll need a car loan in order to complete your purchase.
While many people rely on the dealer’s finance department to help them secure a loan, this isn’t always the best option. Here’s why: they have their best interests in mind, as opposed to making decisions that help you save money.
Here are some steps you can take to secure a car loan on your own:
1. Talk to the Dealer’s Finance Department
It’s okay to do this as long as you don’t make the mistake of signing on the dotted line right away. Instead, ask them what type of car loan they can get you, paying close attention to the lender, term, and interest rate.
With this information in hand, it’s much easier to move forward.
2. Contact Your Local Bank
There’s a good chance you already have a solid relationship with your local bank. Contact them for more information on car loans, including the rate you qualify for and how the application process unfolds.
If you trust your local bank, it’s much easier to ask questions and collect information that you can use to your advantage.
3. Search Online
In today’s world, there’s no reason to ignore the internet when searching for a vehicle and car loan. Instead, it’s often the best way to secure a car loan at a competitive rate, without spending any time on the phone or meeting with lenders in person.
As you search online, track all the information you collect in a spreadsheet. This makes it much easier to compare the finer details of each lender when the time comes to make a final decision.
Take Your Time
Buying a new car is exciting. For this reason, it’s easy to look past the importance of taking your time when comparing car loans. You want to get this step out of the way so that you can drive your new car home as soon as possible.
But don’t get ahead of yourself. If you agree to just any loan, you could regret your decision in the long run.
There is no right or wrong way to secure a car loan, but taking these steps will help you prevent a mistake that turns your good time sour.
As long as you do your homework, you can be confident in your ability to secure a competitive loan from a reputable lender.
When was the last time you secured a car loan? Were you able to efficiently move through the process, or did you make some mistakes along the way?