Top 10 Car Loan Tips

  • Posted 08 Apr

Top 10 Car Loan Tips

Yay! You’ve finally found the perfect car… but you’re going to need to take out a loan to pay for it. Make this exciting purchase smart and easy by following Australian Credit and Finance’s list of the top 10 things to consider before choosing your loan type and lender.

1. Credit History

In any type of loan your credit score and history will vastly effect the decision a lender will make on giving you a loan.  The higher your credit score, the better. It will show lenders that you are a responsible consumer and pay your debts.

You most likely will be rewarded by a lower interest rate, making your monthly payments lower and paying your car off faster. Some lenders will loan to people with low credit scores, but for a much higher interest rate and longer pay period, so ultimately the consumer ends up paying more for the vehicle.

2. Limit Applying for Loans

Every time a lender or bank runs a credit check on you, it actually pings your credit score in a negative way. It’s a little unfair, because a lender must run your credit before they decide to give you a loan.

The best way to do this without damaging your score is simply researching your options first.  There are many sites that offer a free credit score report. Knowing your score and then applying with the lender that can provide you the best loan will keep your score just where you have worked so hard to get it.

3. Compare and Shop Around

Just like you shopped around for the type of car you want and the best price, shop around for your loan as well. Most dealerships offer financing but are probably not in your best interest. Check with your local bank or a financial institution like Australian Credit and Finance who can offer low interest rates and loans that fit your budget and can get you on the road faster.

4. Credit Cards

Purchasing your vehicle with a credit card could be a better option, especially if you are borrowing a lower amount. Credit cards can have low interest rates or interest-free periods that can save you money, as long as you pay off your loan in the “honeymoon” period.

5. Secured vs. Unsecured Loans

When you get approved, check to see if your loan is secured or unsecured. A loan can be secured to an asset, like the car, and if you default in payment they can repossess the car. Always read the fine print BEFORE signing on the dotted line.

6. The Rate You See is The Rate You Get?

Many places will advertise low interest payments splashed in neon paint on car windows and dealership buildings. If you get approved for a loan, don’t assume you’re getting the loan price they are advertising. Every rate can be different per individual and they can change daily. Ask before you buy.

7. Consolidate Loans

If you have a couple loans (house, car, credit cards) see if there is an option to consolidate them all into one loan. It’s easier to make one payment to one place and it might help save you money depending what interest rate you can get with a larger loan amount. Check out Australian Credit and Finance options for consolidation.

8. Repayment Penalities

If you come into some money and want to pay off your car loan earlier, check to make sure there are no penalties for paying off the total amount before your loan is set to expire.

9. Research Loans Outside Where You’re Buying The Car

Research loans that your personal bank, credit unions or online lenders have for car financing. Dealerships most likely won’t have your best interest in mind as they are trying to make as much money as they can from you.

10. Research Full Loan Amount, Not Monthly Repayments

If you pre-determine the amount of monthly payments you want, lenders might try and extend the number of months you pay. This is where researching your car’s total price, and how much you are willing to pay for it, come in handy.

If you need help with buying a car and accessing finance that is suited to your needs, contact our team at Australian Credit and Finance today.

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