Learning Center


Car Buying Preparations


Summer specials and incentives make this the best time of year to purchase a new car. Although the deals are undeniable, buyers still need to do their homework with respect to financing to make sure that they end up paying a price they feel comfortable with. Some quick research before visiting the dealership can eliminate surprises in the finance manager's office.

Check Your Credit
Know your credit score before you go to the dealership. Auto financing is based on credit score, and if you know yours in advance you may be able to use it as a bargaining chip. In addition, if your credit is poor, an advance credit check can help you to investigate other financing options should you not qualify for the loans set up by the dealership.

Down Payments
A down payment goes directly towards vehicle price, so the more you put down, the lower your monthly payments will be. Know how much cash you can afford to spend up front and stick to your plan. Keep in mind that lower credit scores often go hand-in-hand with higher down payments.

It can be worthwhile to investigate financing before going to the dealership. Check with your banking institution; they may be able to offer better rates than dealer credit. Check around and use your knowledge of interest rates as leverage for negotiating financing. Pre-qualify for credit to avoid haggling with the dealers.

Vehicle History
Always review the vehicle history report if you are planning a used car purchase. The dealership should be able to provide this report on request, but you can run your own report online. Reports from autocheck.com or carfax.com include all history about the vehicle, including odomoter readings, accident damage or title issues.






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