Here is a helpful article on financing a vehicle. In the market for a vehicle? Come to GT Auto Sales! We are here to help! Ask for Will Pierce. 253-754-4752 How to Finance a Used Car Three Methods:Getting a Direct LoanUsing Dealer FinancingUsing "Buy Here Pay Here" FinancingCommunity Q&A If you need a car and can't afford to buy one with cash, financing is always an option. If you want to finance a used car, you have the choice of getting your own direct financing, or having the dealer obtain financing for you. If you have a low credit score, "Buy Here Pay Here" lots may be your only option, but should only be used as a last resort. Method 1 Getting a Direct Loan Image titled Finance a Used Car Step 1 1 Request a copy of your credit report. Knowing your credit score will give you a good idea of what kind of rates and terms you'll potentially be offered. In the United States, you're entitled to one free copy of your credit report every year. Check your report for errors or inaccuracies that could be affecting your credit score. If you have a credit score of 680 or above, you're a prime borrower and should be able to get the best possible rates. The higher your score, the lower the rate you can potentially negotiate with lenders. Image titled Finance a Used Car Step 2 2 Contact local banks and credit unions. If you have had a credit or savings account with the same bank for a number of years, start there when looking for a direct car loan. Your history as a customer may get you better rates. Branch out to other banks in your area. Credit unions often have more forgiving loan terms and fewer restrictions. Banks typically won't do a direct car loan for a car purchased from a private owner or an independent dealership. In those situations, you may need to try to take out a personal loan. This is also true if you're buying a collector or exotic car. Image titled Finance a Used Car Step 3 3 Try online lenders. If you're not a prime borrower, it's still possible to get a direct loan for a used car. There are a number of online lenders who are willing to finance used cars for people with less than stellar credit. Since online lenders have less overhead, they typically will offer you a lower rate than you could get from a brick-and-mortar bank or credit union. These loans may come with more restrictions than the direct loan you could get from a bank with better credit. For example, they may not finance cars more than five years old, or cars with over 100,000 miles. Image titled Finance a Used Car Step 4 4 Get rates from multiple lenders. Before you choose a loan, apply for several so you can compare the rates offered. Many banks and lending companies have a pre-approval process that won't affect your credit. Multiple offers may give you the opportunity to negotiate for a better deal. For example, if you got a better rate from a different bank than from your own bank, you could get your bank to match that rate to get your business. Image titled Finance a Used Car Step 5 5 Complete a loan application. Once you've decided which lender you want to use for your financing, you'll typically have to fill out a full loan application. Many lenders give you the option to complete the application online. You'll need to provide basic identification information, such as your driver's license and Social Security numbers. You also may need to provide basic financial information regarding your income and debts. If you've had some credit problems in the past, you may want to go into a bank and apply for the loan in person so you can talk to a lending agent. Your loan agreement will include basic requirements that the car must meet. As long as the car meets these requirements, you can use the financing to purchase the car. Image titled Finance a Used Car Step 6 6 Negotiate with the dealer. In most cases, you're going to secure direct or "blank check" financing before you find the specific car you want to buy. Having financing already secured puts you in a stronger position to get the best price from the dealer. When you bring your own financing, you're saving the dealer a lot of costs. Ask if there's a discount available for that. Since you're buying a used car, have it inspected before you buy it and go over the car's history. The car is a better buy if it's had fewer owners and never been in an accident. Image titled Finance a Used Car Step 7 7 Give the dealer your blank check. Lender policies vary, but in most cases you'll get a check for the exact amount of your car, or a blank check that's worth any amount up to the maximum amount your lender has approved. When you buy a car using direct financing, you still must maintain full coverage insurance on the car. Your loan agreement will include information on the minimum amounts of coverage you must maintain. Method 2 Using Dealer Financing Image titled Finance a Used Car Step 8 1 Research interest rates. Dealers have special financing offers available throughout the year. Especially if you're not picky about the make or model of your car, shop around and see who has the best deal. Know your credit score and how qualified you are for different offers. Typically the best offers are only available for prime borrowers with credit in the 700s or higher. If you're trading in an old car, look for dealer offers to double the price on a trade-in, or pay a minimum amount for any trade-in regardless of its condition. Image titled Finance a Used Car Step 9 2 Choose your car. If you've done your research, you have a few dealerships in mind. You should be able to evaluate their inventory online before you go visit in person. Find the best car for you, looking at overall price. Dealers may advertise monthly payment amounts rather than total price. This can be a way to charge you a higher interest rate. Dealers typically will finance any car on their lot, so you may have more variety to choose from if you use dealer financing than you would if you used direct financing. However, this might not necessarily be a good thing – you still need to check the car's history and have it inspected before you buy. Image titled Finance a Used Car Step 10 3 Offer a sizable down payment. Cars depreciate in value. If you're buying a used car, you want to finance as little of the total price of the car as possible. A down payment of 10 to 20 percent of the purchase price of the car typically will get you the best rates. A sizable down payment can help you avoid being underwater on your loan – meaning you owe more for the car than it is worth. This is particularly important to avoid when you're financing a used car, which could develop mechanical problems relatively quickly. Image titled Finance a Used Car Step 11 4 Apply for financing through the dealer. You'll need basic identification information as well as information about your income and employment to complete the financing application at the dealership. It may take a few minutes, but in most cases the dealer will have a financing offer available for you that day. Then they'll call you back into an office to discuss the terms you've been offered. The finance company may require additional documents from you, such as pay stubs to verify income. If the dealer mentions any of these, make sure you get copies to the dealer as soon as possible so as not to jeopardize your financing offer. Image titled Finance a Used Car Step 12 5 Negotiate the deal. If you've done your research and know your credit score, you may be able to get better terms from the dealer than what you're initially offered. Review each term and see if you can improve it. For example, you typically want the shortest term loan, since it will usually have the lowest interest rates. But dealers often focus on the amount of the monthly payment. Financing for a shorter term does mean a higher monthly payment, but it will save you money overall. Image titled Finance a Used Car Step 13 6 Use cash for extras. Dealers tend to tack on extra fees, including sales tax, registration fees, and document or destination fees. You also may end up paying extra for dealer warranties, especially for a used car. The dealer typically has no problem rolling these extra fees into your financing, but there's no point in paying interest on fees and tax. Pay that out of pocket if you can. Method 3 Using "Buy Here Pay Here" Financing Image titled Finance a Used Car Step 14 1 Exhaust all other options. If you need a car and have had credit problems or have an extremely low credit score, BHPH financing is available for you. However, due to the high rates you should consider this only as a last resort. There are some franchised dealerships, particularly Ford and Chevy dealerships, who are willing to work with customers who have bad credit. It may be possible for you to get a loan there. It wouldn't be the best rates, but it you would still pay less than you would at a BHPH lot. If you have a relative with a good credit score, you might find out if they are willing to co-sign on the loan with you. That could get you a better rate or make traditional lenders more willing to work with you. This option can be especially valuable if you're young and don't have much, if any, credit history. Image titled Finance a Used Car Step 15 2 Ask if the dealer reports to credit bureaus. Because BHPH lots finance the car themselves, they don't always report to credit bureaus. If you have bad credit or no credit, you want the payments you make for your car reported so you can start to rebuild your credit. You may have to visit several lots before you find one that reports to credit bureaus, but be persistent. Image titled Finance a Used Car Step 16 3 Research the car thoroughly. Any car you buy from a BHPH lot typically is sold "as is." Some of these cars may have mechanical problems, and the lot may not be required to disclose those problems before you buy the car. Demand a Carfax or similar car history report so you can see how many owners the car has had and whether it's been in an accident. These lots typically have older cars, so they've likely had several owners – but a car that's changed hands several times in the past few years may be a red flag. Take the car to a reputable mechanic before you buy it and have them conduct a thorough inspection. If there are any major repairs that need to be made, you may be able to convince the lot to make those repairs before you purchase the car. Image titled Finance a Used Car Step 17 4 Negotiate with the dealer. BHPH dealers often present the price of a car – and the financing terms – as though they are non-negotiable, but that's typically not true. Even though you may not be in the best bargaining position, you can still try to get a better deal. The more of a down payment you can make, the better your terms typically will be. These lots often specialize in low down payments, but that doesn't mean you can't pay more. If you're buying a car at a BHPH lot, your down payment should be as high as possible to keep you from ending up underwater – try to aim for somewhere between 40 and 60 percent down. Image titled Finance a Used Car Step 18 5 Make your payments on time. You typically won't have to make payments for a long term, but it's essential to make every payment on time if you want to rebuild your credit. Some BHPH lots will repossess a car after as few as one missed payment. Some BHPH lots require you to make a trip to the lot with your payment. Depending on how the financing is structured, you may be required to make weekly or bi-monthly payments. If you have a checking account and the lot offers automatic payments, sign up for them so you won't have to worry about it. At most BHPH lots, you won't pay any less if you pay the loan off early. Ask about this when you buy the car. If the lot is reporting to the credit bureau and you won't save any money by paying the loan off early, just keep making the payments on time. All those payments will reflect well on your credit score.
Financing for Pre-Owned Vehicles March 12, 2018
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