Getting a car is a sign of being an adult. And no, it’s not because it’s a symbol of your newfound freedom and the mobility that comes with coming of age. Acquiring a car is a sign of being a responsible adult because getting one involves a lot of paperwork, the biggest of which is financing it. Since most of us aren’t born as billionaire babies, we usually fund our car purchase by applying for an auto loan. Unfortunately, that’s not something we can do off the bat and it’s not part of any schoolbook curriculum. On the flip side, all we need to do in order to rock our auto finance problems would be to take a couple of leaves out of Sun Tzu’s book. Here’s how:
Know The Costs: If you know enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.
Before you dive into the hustle and bustle of loan inquiries and application processes, you would need to know what exactly you’re going to pay for. And no, the monthly payments of the loan don’t count. You would have to focus on the overall cost of getting the loan. Some factors you need to consider are the annual percentage rate (APR) and the length of the loan, which both directly affect how much you will ultimately pay.
A lower APR means a lower amount of payments, which leads to a significant boost in total savings on your car purchase. Shortening the loan term would beget a higher monthly payment, but this equals to a lesser amount of money paid overall. As much as possible, get the shortest loan term you can afford at the best achievable APR.
Know Your Score: He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces.
Looking for the best loan is not just subject to external analysis. You would also have to familiarize internal factors that will have an effect on your search, primarily your credit score. It is the one constant thing that lenders will be taking into account when your application is being reviewed. A free credit report can be acquired from any three of the three major credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax, Transunion) for free by using the website annualcreditreport.com.
If you do not have that good of a credit score, do not fret. There will be lenders who cater specifically to your needs with subprime loans. Not only will this achieve your main goal of purchasing a car, but it is also a big step towards repairing any damage done to your credit score.
Know Your Options: Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.
Car finance is no joke. It is a business and an industry just like any other. With that in mind, you would need to look around a bit before settling on what you think is the best deal for your new car. Options usually range from online banks to traditional federal credit unions and even the occasional car dealership. Do your homework first before doing the application so that you won’t be caught with your financial pants down.