Auto lenders each offer unique financing packages. Even if rates are the same for auto loans, differences in terms and restrictions can help you decided between lenders. While you compare interest rates, also look at the fine print to be sure you can buy a car where and when you want.
Ask About APR
Interest rate cost is a huge factor to look at when comparing auto loans. While initial rates can lure you in, be sure to factor in the closing costs and fees. The annual percentage rate (APR) includes the entire cost of the loan. Comparing this number will help you find the lowest costing loan.
Just be sure that you are also comparing the same type of loan. The shorter the loan, the lower the rates. Including a down payment can also improve your rates since it will improve your credit standing.
Budget Your Monthly Payment
Your monthly payment should also be considered when shopping for a car loan. A longer term loan can reduce your monthly payment, even with higher rates. Also, budget the costs of insurance and maintenance for your vehicle.
Lower payments are appealing, but a shorter term loan can save you hundreds, even thousands in interest costs. Take a car loan for $25,000 at 6%. Interest costs tally at $5,677.64 for a seven year loan, but only $3,999.20 for a five year loan. That’s a savings of $1,678.44.
Look For Flexibility In Paying Sellers
Who do you want to purchase your vehicle from – a dealership or a person? Will it be a new or used car? Many lenders want to know your answers to these questions. Some financing offers limit who you can buy from. Others offer a blank check to sign over to whoever you choose.
Before you apply for a loan, make sure you know what type of car you plan to buy. If you are unsure, keep your options open by finding a flexible car loan. While you may find lower rates for purchasing from a dealership, you may also miss out on a deal in the classifieds.
No matter what type of auto lender you pick, apply early for pre-approval. Not only will you find out how much you qualify for, but you can also close quicker on a deal.