Owning a car has become part and parcel of the American Dream. While it is most certainly still a privilege, to most people car ownership feels almost like a right. Somehow, it feels natural that we should own a car. To be without one, we can feel immobile, stuck and more than a little inconvenienced. And, many of our cities and towns are design in such a way that we really are at a loss in terms of getting around town if we do not have a car.
For most of us, being able to actually own a car requires that we finance it. Most of us do not have the cash on hand to simply buy a new – or even used – car outright.
If you are looking for a car finance site, here are 5 tops for car financing:
1. Get pre-approved for a loan at a local bank or credit union before visiting a dealership: Setting foot on a dealership lot signals to its employees that you are ready to wheel and deal. It means you are fairly serious about your car purchase and are in the mood to buy soon. That’s why, the more you can do to prepare in advance of actually visiting the dealership, the better position you will be in. One such move is to get pre-approved for a loan before visiting the dealership. Try your local bank or credit union: you might be surprised at the kinds of deals they may offer you.
2. Call ahead to at least 3 dealerships before paying any one of them a visit: You always retain more negotiating power before you set foot on the dealer’s lot. That is why you should call around to multiple dealerships, inquiring about the particular model you are interested in and getting an initial price quote from each dealership. You will walk onto any one lot as a much more confident person, and thereby be in a better position to negotiate.
3. Find out your current credit score: Your credit score is the single most important thing that determines how good of a financing deal you will be offered. Make sure to adequately research your credit score before entering the dealer’s finance office to start the financing negotiations. Make sure you find out how you score is classified (poor, fair, good, or excellent).
4. Keep the car price separate from the financing deal you get: Remember, the dealership is in business to make money. That is why it is important for your to know that the dealer stands to make money off of you in two ways:
a. by negotiating a higher price on the car
b. by getting you to agree to a high interest loan
The mistake many people who are shopping for a car at a dealership make is this: they believe that, once they have negotiated the price on the car that they wanted – they are somehow done negotiating. In other words, they believe they can let their guard down. Not so! It is not over until it is over. Until the moment you sign the financing deal with the finance department, the game is still very much in play. Be prepared and keep your wits about you.
5. If you buy your car at a dealership, do not accept the first financing offer they extend: Just as with anything else in life, it is almost never a good idea to accept the first offer someone gives you. Remember that the finance manager has a range of deals he can offer you. He would of course always like you to accept the one that allows him to collect the most interest from you that he can. But, at the same time, he would rather offer you a lower rate than see you walk out the door! So, hang tough and do not accept that first offer, no matter how good it sounds.
Follow these 5 tips and you will get a much better deal on your car financing.
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