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November/December 2017

Financing Your New Wheels

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There’s no lemon law for auto loans. So shopping around for financing before you shop for a vehicle can prevent you from getting a sour deal. Here are a few things to consider.

Compare Rates

It goes without saying that a lower annual percentage rate will save you money, so do some comparison shopping. Look up the rates offered by local or national banks and credit unions, and check out online lenders. The dealership where you buy your vehicle may offer financing. Dealers often have relationships with several lenders. But you won’t know if the dealer’s terms are competitive unless you do your research first to see what other lenders are willing to offer.

You may also be able to take advantage of low or zero-per- cent financing from the automobile manufacturer, although you may have to forgo a manufacturer’s rebate to get it.

Total Cost

The loan’s term—the number of months until the loan is paid off - is another consideration. The longer the term, the higher the loan’s total cost. A shorter term means higher monthly payments, but the loan will cost less overall. So consider obtaining the shortest loan term that you can comfortably afford.

Remember, too, that a longer loan term means it takes longer to build equity. This can be important if you decide to trade or sell the car - or if the car is stolen or destroyed - before the loan is fully paid. Putting a substantial down payment on the vehicle can help.



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