Searching for the auto loan with the best rate requires doing some research both on your own personal finances and on what financial institutions offer that fit in with your situation. This can seem like an especially tall task if you’ve never searched for an auto loan before. Before you dive into the process of finding your ideal auto loan, check out a few of the tips and pointers that outlined below, so that you can go into the loan process feeling confident and informed.
Know Your Credit History
Before you start shopping for an auto loan, be sure that you know your credit score, if you don’t know it already. If you don’t, you can receive a free credit report from each of the 3 main credit bureaus yearly, so if you haven’t you should take advantage. Knowing your credit score will give you a better understanding of what you should qualify for and get a basic sense of what your loan will look like.
Once You Decide On a Budget, Stick To It
Before you shop for a loan, do a little calculating to figure out a monthly payment that works with your finances. Once you’ve figured that out stick by that figure. Some lenders may try to talk you into a lower monthly payment, because that will ultimately make your interest payments higher in the long-term – that’s good for them, but bad for you. Know what you’re comfortable paying going in, and don’t budge on that, otherwise you’ll end up paying more in interest and will be stuck with the car longer than you might want.
Try To Do All Your Loan Applications In Two Weeks
You should only be applying for car loans for about 14 days, because multiple loan applications leads to multiple credit inquiries – each inquiry results in a slight decrease in your credit score, which can make getting the best loan rate difficult. However, if you make all applications during a 14 day period then credit bureaus will recognize that you are loan shopping and only count the multiple inquiries as one inquiry, doing less damage to your credit.
Take Advantage of Credit Unions
Credit unions, on average, offer car loan rates 1-2% lower than banks do. While that might not seem like much at first glance, that 1-2% over the life of a loan, can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. HRCCU offers a range of different auto loan options based on vehicle age and loan duration. If you don’t qualify for a conventional loan, we offer GREENLight loans; to calculate the GREENLight loan rate for the vehicle that you’re looking for, or to help you find a vehicle that fits your budget, use our CarBuilder program online calculator. No matter your credit situation, we offer fair loan rates with a focus on helping you build and maintain healthy finances, without creating financial stress.