Some people think that getting a great loan deal for a new or used car or truck is just a matter of being at the right place at the right time, or perhaps a matter of how hungry the dealership is at the time you make the purchase. Totally wrong. Getting a good auto loan rate is not luck, but rather a skill that you must learn. Why depend on luck when a bit of research before the purchase can give you more bargaining power? When you are in a better position to negotiate the price, then you are savings even more money. |
This same logic can apply to refinancing an existing auto loan where you were not in a position at that time to get the best possible loan deal, or perhaps didn’t know at that time that better deals were available. But whether refinancing an existing auto loan or finding the best deal on a new auto loan, you need to realize that the financing deal is a critical component of the whole deal, and getting the best possible deal can keep hundreds and even thousands of dollars in your pocket.
Like anything else, the informed consumer is the one who saves the most. Know what the prices are, what they could or should be, and do your homework. Some people have even taken the attitude that they are being paid like $50 or more per hour to do this homework before the purchase, because in effect, that is exactly what they are doing in terms of how much they can save by having this information in their back pocket BEFORE they step into the car showroom.
Your first step is to go online and find out how much you should be paying for the car or truck you have in mind. Then you can run various different scenarios with the built-in calculator at many of the online car shopping sites, determining the monthly payment amount of various amounts of down payment, interest rate, and term of the loan. Compare that against your personal budget and you will already know what you can and cannot do before you even start shopping, and potentially wasting your time.
Some people have said that online sources are your best place to get an auto loan. Let us correct that statement right now – they can be a GOOD place to get an auto loan but they are not necessarily the BEST place. Local banks and credit unions frequently have specials for car loan deals, and like any smart shopper, you need to be aware of what they offer to see if you already have found a source offering a better deal on your car or truck financing.
Your best deal for an auto loan is going to come from a good credit score rating. Do you know what your credit score is? It would be well worth your time and effort to find out so that if there are errors in your credit report, you can get those errors corrected and get the best deal. Even a difference of 1% in your auto loan interest rate can mean the difference of a few hundred dollars over the life of the loan.
Bottom line: do your homework, since shopping for the best financing deal is every bit as important as the other things such as the make and model of the car you are buying. Jon is a computer engineer who maintains web sites on a variety of topics based on his knowledge and experience. You can read more about your best options for Car Loans at his web site at Car Loan Resources.
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