Who wants to make a down payment on an auto loan? The answer is no one. No one wants to shell out a bunch of money upfront to get a car they need. But you should. Here are 10 reasons why you want to reconsider making a down payment on your next vehicle.
10. Lowers the Amount Borrowed
No matter how you slice it, bringing in your own cash upfront is a solid move when you're financing a car. The amount you bring in as a down payment is known as "skin in the game." In many cases, such as bad credit car loans, down payments are required. The more you bring to the table the less you ultimately have to borrow from a lender.
9. Pay Less in Interest Charges
When you borrow less, you repay less. This may sound like a given, but borrowing money isn't always free – you're often charged a certain percentage (interest rate), so you could be repaying a little, or a lot, more than you borrow. The better your credit score is, the lower the interest rate you typically qualify for, so if you have poor credit, being prepared with a down payment can save you even more.
8. Your Monthly Loan Payment Could Be Lower
You may be seeing a theme as we move on to the eighth reason to make a down payment on your next auto loan – let's continue our downward trend. You guessed it, more good news! Not only does a down payment mean borrowing and repaying less money overall, but it could mean less money coming out of your pocket month to month.
7. May Qualify You for Different Loan Term
A different loan term can also impact the amount of money you're spending on loan payments each month. The longer you stretch your loan out, the lower your monthly payments tend to be. If you're a bad credit borrower, stretching your loan term too long means paying more in interest charges.
Since lenders want you to be able to successfully complete your loan in a timely manner, they sometimes cap the loan term you're allowed, or may not offer you a loan term as short as you'd like. Down payments may be a big bargaining chip when it comes to talking about how long your loan term can be.
6. Can Eliminate the Need for a Cosigner
In some cases, bad credit borrowers are required to have a cosigner to qualify for a car loan. A cosigner acts as a backup payer in case you're unable to make your payments. They also lend you their good credit score to help you qualify for financing. Sometimes, if you can't find a cosigner to satisfy this requirement, bringing in a larger down payment decreases enough risk to the lender so that it may be just the ticket to going it alone.
5. May Open Up More Vehicle Choices
If you bring a significant amount of money in as a down payment but don't opt to borrow less, you may be able to increase the pool of vehicles you can choose from. When you're financing a car with poor credit, you need to qualify for financing first, and then choose a vehicle that fits into your approved monthly payment amount. If your down payment is significant, you can typically choose from cars that cost a little more.
4. Could Qualify You for Special Programs
Another benefit to down payments is that bringing in a certain amount of money can help you to qualify for special financing programs in some cases. Not everyone qualifies for programs and incentives on financing, so it's important that you talk to a dealer about all the fine print, and understand how large of a down payment you need to qualify before you agree to any contract.
3. Down Payments Offset Depreciation
Vehicles are depreciating assets, which means they lose value over time and with use. Typically, new cars lose around 20% of their value in the first year of ownership, while all cars lose around 15% of their value each year. If you purchase a vehicle without making a significant down payment you could end up owing more on your car than it's worth.
This is known as being upside down or having negative equity. This can make it difficult to sell or trade in a vehicle, and start you out on a negative equity cycle if you're not careful. A down payment of between 10% and 20% is typically recommended to offset depreciation, depending on your situation and the car you're financing.
2. Cash May Not Be Required
Down Payments may be required in some cases, but they're not just for the sake of the lender. The bottom line is that making a significant down payment on an auto loan can save you money when you need to finance a vehicle, and they may not have to be in cash. You can also use trade-in equity from your current car to help meet a lender's down payment requirement, or add it to the amount you already saved to make an even bigger money-saving difference!
1. May Help Auto Loan Approval Odds
As we mentioned earlier, down payments are typically required for borrowers with less than perfect credit. This usually means putting down at least $1,000 or 10% of the vehicle's selling price. However, the more money you can put down, the better your odds of getting a car loan can be.
To increase your chances even further, make sure you're working with the right type of lender for your situation. Not all lenders can work with borrowers who have poor credit, and not all dealerships have the lenders that can. At Auto Credit Express, we've got your back! Simply fill out our fast, free, car loan request form to get connected to a dealership in your area that's signed up with lenders to help credit-challenged consumers.