Eight Steps to a Lower Car Loan

Eight Steps to a Lower Car Loan

Auto loans are relatively easy to obtain. Lending institutions know they’ll get their money back because if you don’t make the payments, they can repossess the car. The key is to get a loan for the lowest possible interest rate. Key steps:

1.Cruise the field.
Compare interest rates at various financial institutions – such as banks and credit unions, as well as the car dealership.

 2. Get the nod.
It’s often an advantage to be pre-approved for a loan so that you can keep the financial arrangements out of the vehicle-price negotiations at the dealership.

3. Know your rate.
The figure to focus on when borrowing money is the annual percentage rate (APR), which can vary from day to day. You can get a quick read on the prevailing rates at such online sites as www.bankrate.com, www.eloan.com, www.lendingtree.com, and www.hsbcautoloans.com.

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4. Watch the total.
The term (or “duration”) of a loan affects your monthly payment and the total purchase price of the vehicle. A shorter loan term means higher monthly payments—but less money paid overall. Keep the length of the loan as short as possible. The sites mentioned above have calculators that can help you determine these figures.

5. Don’t settle.
Auto manufacturers often provide low interest rates in order to push slow-selling models. Low-interest rates are no bargain if they persuade you to buy a car with which you’re not happy.

 6. Get the score.
Check your credit score before looking for a loan. Having a sterling credit score can get you a better interest rate than having a poor score.

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7. Clean up errors.
If there are mistakes on your reports, fix them before you apply for a loan.

8. Negotiate smartly.
If you plan to finance your car through the dealer, price the vehicle before you submit the loan. Many sellers like to combine the price of the vehicle and the loan in a single negotiation, often focusing on the monthly payment figure.